Color surrounds us. It drives, soothes and inspires us. It also intrigues us-yet intimidates the heck out of us when presented in the form of a paint fan. Coloring Your World is a new series that takes a look at the history and psychology of color, and appropriately enough, RED is up first.
The color of sinners and saints, after black and white, red was the first color used, and the first color named. Red Ochre (clay + iron ore) was found coloring drawings in Beijing caves, thought to be inhabited as long as 700,0oo years ago. In later years, pigment also came from various organic sources: minerals like cinnabar, the roots of Madder plants, and crushed Kermes bugs-Kermes vermilio, to be exact, as in Vermilion Red…
By definition, it’s one of three primary colors-meaning it’s a building block for other colors. As a practical matter, it’s color few are ambivalent about. Romans and Greeks both used it to celebrate war, life, and victory. During the Middle Ages the Church used it to denote authority. Louis XIV wore red heels as a wink and a nod to his status in the early 1700′s, then red first became the symbol of political rebellion during the French Revolution at the end of that century. In Russian, the word for ‘red’ comes from the same root as the Slavic words beautiful and excellent, and ‘Red Square’ meant Beautiful Square before the Russian Revolution.
Redheads were both feared for their fiery temperament, and admired for their unique coloration. Folklore assigned red gemstones similar powers: Wearing garnets were both an antidote to poison, and protection against lightening strikes. Carnelian was said to repel rage and anger, and in certain Asian countries, rubies were set underneath a building’s foundation, to insure good fortune inside.
Today red still signifies everything intense. It raises the heartbeat, increases respiration, and stimulates the appetite. Pure color, in quantity could be a lot for many to live with, but here are some ways this Westchester County Decorator suggests you can …ahhh…temper it for everyday living.
If you’re a little nervous, start with a small quantity (always eaiser to amp something up, rather than calm it down)-draperies against neutral walls, a single chair, or some accessories.
If you opt for red walls, remember dark furniture, and or high-contrast white trim will balance the final effect. Consider things like wall art or a mirror as an additional safety net.
Dulled, but still dense and saturated reds can still be stunningly striking, just not as jarring. My favs: Benjamin Moore Dinner Party (Affinity line) #AF-300, #1316 Umbria Red or #2080-10 Raspberry Truffle.
Furniture Sharehouse isWestchester County’s own furniture bank. Run by volunteers, Furniture Sharehouse collects unwanted clean, basic furniture, and re-distributes it FREE to clients of about 40 different Westchester County agencies.
Donations (furniture, time, funds) are always sought and welcomed, but right now, your online VOTES are #1 ask.
Larchmont’s own Kate Bialo, founder of Furniture Sharehouse is one of 10 National Finalists vying for a $25K grant from L’Oreal’s Women of Worth event.
Now, through November 21, everyone can vote once a day (per email address) HERE.
Veterans are just one segment of the client base who typically receive 8 to 10 pieces of clean, basic furniture, things many of us take for granted: a sofa, a kitchen table/chairs, a dresser, a bed.
Regular readers know I am absolutely shameless when it comes to asking for support for this wonderful cause. If you are reading this, please, you have all the tools you need to help right now. Please click on this link to VOTE, then share it with your friends as well. WHatever you can so, thank you for your support!!
Communication skills are one of the things that set us apart in in life and business; vocabulary is one aspect.
Unexpected words elevate the message. They add interest and nuance, and help the message be heard more effectively.
I personally love using familiar, but under-used words; and new words, but only with a light hand, and if it reinforces the topic at hand.
But thesauruses can be predictable, or over-reach. Which is why I am so excited about finding this new (to me) online resource.
OneLook Reverse Dictionary lets you describe concepts, and it shoots you out 100 words to consider, in order of relevance, with links to its definition so you can see if it’s the fit you were hoping for. Words from other cultures, too…in my own searches for re-working my marketing materials Mensch, Fiduciary, Mahatma, and Saoi came up. Take a look, and be inspired!
Increased activity in the housing market has increased confidence about updating our homes. In my business, that’s translated to a lot of questions about the wisdom of buying new vs. re-upholstering, or just slipcovering.
Helping clients make thoughtful and value-oriented decisions is what The Refreshed Home is all about; so the first step here is to understand what each is really about, and to think through their needs, and expectations.
Fit over-on top of-existing piece
Not a lot of middle ground: available very custom-(time and $$$), or very generic (quick, inexpensive, but few choices)
Will adapt to piece by velcro or zippers (very custom) or by fabric ties, stretchy fabric, or elasticized overskirts (generic)
Usually unlined, and in a light-weight fabric-to fit, and drape well over original fabric
Fabric not attached to frame-can shift with use, or not lay as flat as on upholstered piece.
Can be washable
These craftspeople still exist, but cost, and modern lifestyles have nudged this look out of mainstream favor.Readers of ‘a certain age’ might remember Gimbel’s shop at home service, where someone would come to your house and measure/make a pattern while you chose a fabric cover.
Some furniture retailers offer another choice: they sell both new muslin-covered sofas, and a selection of matching slipcovers separately. This allows them to mass-produce several options of reasonably well-fitting covers at a pleasing price point.
Think about the wear this will get, and your expectations of how long it will last. And because fabric rests on the frame, reflect on your fondness for a more casual look-or your threshold for straightening seams.
New is…well, new! Almost anything you’d hope to find is available, or could be made. Which could be a good thing….
Used to mean gutting, then repairing/replacing
Upholsterers today will just replace cover, gut, or do anything in between-depends on condition, and what client wants to spend
Design details (like piping, trim, skirt, nail heads, tufting) can be added, removed or altered for a truly different look
Fabric choices are endless
Modern padding materials can be non-allergenic (instead of down, petroleum-based foam, latex or horsehair) and green (soy-based foam and shredded pop bottles)
Heavier-more durable-fabrics can be used
Unless a frame has genuinely been lightly to never used, re-covering might not be a great option. The insides of a sofa age as much as the outsides do, putting money into covering shrunken latex cushions, or one that’s not sturdy is a waste.
Do you have pets, small children-or messy big ones? Do you get bored easily, or hate a perfectly good hand-me-down sofa? Maybe you’re just cash or time-challenged at the moment? All good reasons to think about a generic slipcover.
The answer to new vs. re-upholster is not as clear. Age is not always reliable marker of quality, or suitability to be re-worked. Cost of new can be more fabric than quality of manufacturing. And a sofa that is undersized, or that sits at an uncomfortable angle is not going to feel much better with new fabric on it. Even quality, older pieces can have frame damage if say they spent time in direct sunlight, or in front of heating elements.
If you’ve got a piece where the loose cushions are stained or worn-but arms, and rest of frame looks good-replacing inserts, and covering them in a totally different fabric can be both inexpensive and stylish.
Easy to go back and forth, but don’t expect to choose based solely on cost. A solid re-upholstery job will probably run a similar amount of money as the same quality of new.
Instead, first ask yourself if the piece has actual or sentimental value. Do you like it? Is it an unusual size that fits well in a specific space? Even just wanting new-OR-not wanting to cut down another tree-all valid, that will help you more clearly evaluate pricing.
When I was in school and desperately broke, I decorated with plants because it was cheap.
Later, I included plants in my floor plans for my clients largely for aesthetic value-there was always a plant or tree out there that could fill in an odd space, or add balance to a room; place an up light underneath it, voila-sculpture!
But who knew plants could also genuinely, simply, dramatically, inexpensively and immediately improve the quality of your own personal air? NASA, that’s who!
Photosynthesis takes carbon dioxide out of the air, and combines sunlight and water to provide energy for the plant to grow, releasing oxygen in the process.
Extra oxygen is good, but better is that the plant AND the microorganisms in the dirt also scrub the air of known carcinogens. NASA has been studying this for years- sending plants up in the space shuttles, as a way to extended stays in space stations by cleaning the air… but the science works just as well in our earthly digs.
B. C. Wolverton was the lead investigator in one 1989 NASA experiment where harmful gases were pumped into a sealed greenhouse. Over a 24 hour period, Gerber Daisies removed 35% of trichloroethylene (dry-cleaning, adhesives, varnishes), 50% of the formaldehyde (cigarette smoke, particle board, insulation and fire-retardant), and almost 68% of benzene (plastics, inks, dyes, detergents) particles from the air.
Gerber Daisies!! I don’t know if that is more startling info, or that this is known science for over 2 decades. His widely-acclaimed 1997 book, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office at under 150 pages is an easy read, concise and helpful.
Don’t let the Latin names throw you: you’d recognize many of them by photos; Gerber Daisy, Chrysanthemums and the Peace Lily-3 of the most effective plants tested-are all sold in the floral dept of my local Stop and Shop.
And you don’t have to live in a terrarium, either; experts say as few as 2 tabletop plants per 100 sf will do the job.
Brown thumb? Many species originate from the rain forest, and are used to low light, so are very well-suited to office and home application, where the natural light might not be so abundant.
Young kids or pets? The more exposed dirt, the better; but a fine mesh screen on top will discourage cats and toddlers from digging. One caveat: some plants are toxic if ingested, so pet owners or parents of small children need to do the research.
Mother Earth has taken some big hits lately, who knew it’d be so easy to give back?
One in five people will move this year, and 45% of these moves will happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you plan to be one of the 8 to 10 million households that are expected to move this summer, here are some tips that could save you drama, heartache, even some bucks.
A little pre-planning goes a long way. Joe Barone, owner of JB Moving and Storage has been moving Westchester and Fairfield county families since 1985, here are his top tips to help smooth the process:
First-leave yourself enough time: Interview movers as early as possible. Ask about their experience, their range of services, their specialties. What was the most unusual move they ever handled? How do they find and hire workers, and how long have workers typically been with the company? How do they keep a consistent level of quality during this peak time? Ask for, and follow up on the company’s client references.
Make as many decisions about your stuff that you can, before you get quotes. This makes getting accurate, apple-to-apple comparisons easier.
Keep last minute decisions to a minimum. Deciding to leave, give away, store or have delivered to a third party will change your price. Day-of decision leaves you little recourse other than to pay them what they tell you to. Follow up your decisions with deadlines, have a back-up plan, and stick to it. If your sister doesn’t pick up the sofa by X date, it goes to recipient #2.
Get detailed quotes in writing, after a site visit. This will the ‘what, there are stairs?’ or ‘you want us to pack that?’ on-site issues with the crew.
Assume nothing. Especially that you will get ‘a deal’. NYS-DOT does not let these vendors ‘throw in’ anything. In fact, they have to register their fee schedule with the state on an annual basis. Get costs of all packing materials, agreement of what will be put together, installed, etc.
Only hire a licensed and insured mover. Depending on your move, your consumer rights are protected either by a local (staying within your state) or federal (crossing state lines) agency. These agencies license and regulate the carriers. As a consumer, you are on your own if you choose to do business with an unlicensed, uninsured business. Check to see they are members in good standing with both the Better Business Bureau , and the Department of Transportation.
Last-this is my suggestion: Inspired by-some might even say spoiled by!-JB’s own facility and operation-Ask to visit the warehouse. See the operation, check out their trucks. Is it clean, and orderly? Are the movers wearing some type of uniform? In my experience, appearances and condition of equipment are indicative of the operation as a whole, as well as how you and your possessions will be treated.
The Refreshed Home~Because Experience Matters, and Kindness Counts
Well, it’s official, the buying orgies of the 80s and 90s have finally caught up to us, there is just have too much stuff in our collective lives.
Do you know about Freecycle? Green, SAFE, thrifty and fun, you can find a home for the stuff that still has life in it, and find other stuff you want/need/could really use, all for free.
Freecycle was born almost 9 years ago, in Tuscon AZ. It started as one person doing this for the community, them looking for a way to connect other communities is what grew it to a a national organization with over 5000 chapters, almost 9 million members.
Free to sign up, free to belong, and no spam. Each chapter is moderated by local volunteers, who first check out your application (no crazy, anonymous posts, a’la Craigslist-it’s a closed system, members only!), then monitor posts that all culminate in daily e-newsletters to chapter members. Who has, and who wants. If you have or want, you submit the details, and someone within the chapter who can can answer that with their own want or have responds to that member, and arrangements are made for goods to be picked up, usually ASAP.
Here in Westchester, (13,500+ members!) I get 2-3 e-blasts a day, have seen the standards-baby stuff, clothing, household and electronic goods, here’s a sampling of the blast that came through about an hour ago:
Offered: a light wood Eddie Bauer high chair, a Sears car top carrier, two Razor scooters and a bedroom set (Queen sleigh bed, dresser, night tables).
Wanted: were lamps, a SONY phone charger, a walker, board games, a sewing machine, a piano keyboard and BBB coupons.
Previously offered and now taken included 3 boxes of kids games and videos, snowboard boots and a bag of assorted crafts materials.
I, myself am the proud new owner of a Happy Bunny accent lamp from a recent offering…just the right bit of fun for a dark corner in my office. Free, safe and local, check it out, www.freecycle.org
If you’re like most people, baking some goodies will be figuring into your holiday TO-DO list…also like many, actually EATING these same goods is on your TO-DON’T list.
Nothing new, or mysterious about this product, it just truly is so smart, and good for you, on all levels.
Using pureed fruit as a butter substitute is not new…recipes specifically using mashed bananas or applesauce have been around for a while, but it’s just never been easy to find general substitution information easily, outside those recipes.
Then, a few years back, I found this, Sunsweet Lighter Bake. Made of dried plums and dried apples, this stuff is beyond amazing, and the conversion chart is right on the bottle. In order of importance, here is why you should give it a try, too.
First: Taste/Results: In my experience, baked goods smell, taste and look like they should (although because of the color of the puree, really light-colored goods will bake up darker).
Doug and his brothers are dessert snobs purists, and highly suspicious of ’substitute’ anything. Since finding this, I have successfully snuck this by them used this in cookie, cake and most importantly BROWNIES on many occasions.
Second: Health This jar contains 27 tablespoons of puree….at 35 calories a pop, it’s about one-third the caloric cost of the same amount of butter, 100 calories a tablespoon. OH, BUT WAIT-it’s not an equal exchange, you only need HALF the amount of puree that you would need for butter.
So that brings the caloric cost down to about 17.5% of what it’d be for butter. Also has lots of antioxidants, and it’s fat-, sodium-, and cholesterol- free.
Third: Cost These 27 tablespoons are the equivalent of 54 tablespoons of butter…almost seven sticks of butter. This jar cost I think $2.89…which would be maybe half the cost of that much butter?
SO-to re-cap: tastes great, healthy alternative, half the price of butter.
It’s not going to make a brownie the equivalent of having a salad, but if you’re going to have that browine, you can enjoy it even more. Only tricky part is finding it in the supermarket…baking supplies might be a logical choice, but our local place has chosen at the end of the cooking oils aisle.
Months ago I had come across this great post..sent myself a link to the page, marked it with purple flag (meaning urgent follow-up, HA!), then it slid right off my radar. Until this past week, when talk of door-painting suddenly seemed to become a very hot topic.
What Does Your Front Door Say About You is a broad look at some of the colors that front doors are painted, and what they mean. Went back, re-read the post, then trolled around Susan’s own site, and it was absolutely delightful.
Between Naps on the Porch is a blog Susan Herin created out of love for all things home: Decorating, tablescapes, recipes-you name it.
I like it for several reasons-it’s professional, detailed, creative and tasteful. Like M*****, without the whole smug-thing. And this was before we had even e-connected, she is just as delightful. live and in person!
Visit, enjoy, even bookmark, and may a red door be in your future, too!
Back in 1975 its co-founders, the late Harry Chapin, and DJ Bill Ayers had no idea either how successful their efforts would be, or unfortunately, how much they would be needed.
Formed in early 1975, WHY set out to find an answer to why there was so much poverty and hunger in a world that could feed itself.
Harry, the gregarious singer and humanitarian activist partnered with Bill, and NYC’s famed WNEW 102.7 FM radio station to broadcast the first Hungerthon, a 24-hour call-in fundraiser on Thanksgiving weekend.
This all comes to mind because stunningly, it was 30 years ago today that Harry Chapin’s very bright light went out. On his way to perform at a free benefit concert, in a car accident in Long Island NY.
This sudden and double loss of both talent and promise made wondering ‘what if’? particularly poignant, but it also propelled WHY-now called WhyHunger- onto great things.
Appropriately, this week, WhyHunger was one of 1,500 charities-out of over 1.2 million-to receive a four-star designation from Charity Navigator, the premiere charity rating organization in the country.
Harry wrote and sang songs about ordinary people, in ordinary circumstances; but he told their stories with extraordinary humor, grace, and insight.
Life lived, love-lost and found, and dreams dared to be pursued were some of his favorite topics.
Inspiration for many of his songs came from real life-his own, and others. I Want To Learn A Love Song is the story of how he met his wife, Sandy; I like to think perhaps Dreams Go By was his vision for their future.
Circle is probably one of his more well-known ballads, but my heart absolutely soars when I hear the haunting and bittersweet tale of Mr. Tanner. It’s 7o’s video, but relax and make your ears happy.>
Now that you know about Why Hunger, please keep them in mind, and watch for them in my annual holiday gift-giving with heart series, Giving the Gift.
Without hesitation, let me say Westchester County does an amazing job of establishing and running recycling events throughout the county; many thanks to County Executives, past and present for establishing and continuing this support.
BUT-it is not enough that we get all whipped into a frenzy in mid-April. Think thoughtful choices year-round, and plan ahead for the stuff you no longer need.
Here is the direct link for the entire 2011 Recycling Event Schedule, and here are some suggestions you can do to make a difference:
Open link and save as, or cut/paste and make link part of your email signature
Mark your calendars NOW of all the events
Send it to your clients or co-workers; submit to any company newsletter, or e-bulletin board
Share with the lacrosse moms, book club, PTA, scouts, etc.
Top/right on menu has link to Treasure Hunt, a free service to post and give-away-or get-unwanted, but usable items.
Link will keep you apprised of the upcoming events, like the launch of the facility that can process #3-7 plastics, and the opening of the permanent household recovery center, sometime later this year.
For out of the area friends/family/colleagues-suggest they go to their municipality’s website and get/forward that info to their friends…remember…we’re all in this together!!
Thank you to my friend Deb Yaciw, in Oneonta NY for sharing this story.
A man named Robert L. May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap, quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.
Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?”
Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.
Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in.
Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums.
Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.
Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined a make one – a storybook!
Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again, Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling.
Who was the character? What was the story all about?
The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.
Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day.
But the story doesn’t end there.
The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print and distribute “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” it to children visiting Santa in their stores.
By 1946, Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph.
That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller.
Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.
Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. The song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , but was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”
The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.
Wishing you and your family the light, and goodness of the season. MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
“Red wine has a higher molecular weight, and gives off vapor less readily. The more solid and substantial the wine, the more the release of its aroma and bouquet depend on gentle warmth.
The lighter and sweeter white wine is better when chilled to around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Above that temperature range, the subtle aromas of the wine may be masked by those given off by the alcohol as it vaporizes.”
And ohyes, on this day, Venetian blinds were patented (1796), Indianna became the 19th state (1816), Nitrous oxide was first used in dentistry (1844), Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson (1936), UNICEF was established (1946), and the the Concorde was unveiled (1967).
If you are looking for quick bits of trivia, information and history, Reference.com sends out a daily ‘On This Day’ email to it’s subscribers. Free and spam-less, I’ve subscribed for years. Quick links to follow up on if you’re interested, otherwise, 30 seconds will gift you with unique and timely bit of info.
The words ‘Bush Tax Cuts Extended’, are flooding the airwaves, but the details are still murky, and the debate continues-will it even pass the House? No one knows yet what will actually become law on January 1st, but is there anything a taxpayer can do besides wait?
“Yes” is the short answer, but don’t delay. Carmine Filippone is a CPA and a partner in Rudinger, Heller & Filippone LLP, located in White Plains. As a specialist in individual taxes and the tax needs of family run business’ he explains:
The Bush Tax cuts went into effect in 2001, and made significant changes in several areas of the US Tax Code, which affected the majority of the population.
For 2010, the Long Term Capitol Gain rate most people will pay is 15%, but if the extension is blocked, those rates could go up to 20%.
If you have stock or any other capital assets that have appreciated in value, it could be beneficial for you to sell it by the end of the year, to lock in that lower rate; but the time to start the conversationwith a tax professional about your individual circumstances is n-o-w.
Individuals might also want to consider pre-paying their state taxes. By paying your state income taxes before the end of the year, you would be eligible for a deduction in the current year. This is a tax-saving strategy that’s been around for a while, but it might not be for everyone, but it might be worth revisiting this with your tax-planning professional.
Some business owners, and those that are self-employed have some perks coming their way also.
Are you a business owner who made any improvements to your restaurant building, the interior of you retail store, or to your leased/non-residential building in 2010? Or are you planning any of these for 2011? OR perhaps you have one of these as a listing-a buyer could have a wholeyear to update his new property….
Welcome news, for the first time ever, up to $250K of qualified improvements to these types of buildings can now be immediately deducted (under Section 179) for 2010 and 2011.
Carmine concludes: If you are self-employed, your health insurance premiums can be deducted as a business expense that reduces your self-employment tax liability. This change applies only to 2010 and was included as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Tax laws change frequently and are complicated; tax planning strategies are going to be different for everyone. While you can still improve your circumstances for 2010, consulting a tax professional on a regular basis saves you time, money and stress-what a great way to start the New Year!!
Each year at holiday time most of us gather with friends and family. While these are largely happy times, it can be a real eye-opener for adult children with parents who are getting on in the years.
Spending extended time together, you may notice changes in your parents behavior. The holiday season plays havoc with all of our behaviors, and changes are not all bad …but how do you rationally and constructively handle this?
Paula Meighan knows. As an RN and LMSW, she worked with seniors as a visiting nurse, in hospice, and then as a geriatic care manager. She then became one of the founding partners of Changing Places LLC, a Stamford CT-based senior transitioning firm. Members of NASMM and Certified Relocation and Transition Specialists (CRTS)-they specialize in assisting seniors-and their families-first navigate these emotionally charged issues, then providing peace of mind as they facillitate changes on their behalf.
Paula recommends using this opportunity to observe any changes that may be a signal that the time is approaching, or has come, to suggest resources to make life easier for them. Some solutions might be an aging in place organization, a geriatric care manager, additional help in the home or beginning to look at alternatives such as a move to independent or assisted living.
Here are a few things to consider:
Household - Can they food shop on their own? Are they able to pay their bills? Is the laundry done? Are dishes clean? Is there excess garbage or spoiled food in the refrigerator?
Hygiene– Are they wearing clean clothes? Are there any smells on their person?
Health – Can they keep track of their medications and take them properly? Have they made and kept medical and dental appointments? Do you see any signs of memory problems?
Socialization – Are they isolated or still getting out and about?
Safety – How is their walking? Bathing? Dressing? If driving, take a ride with them and observe their reaction time. Note if the car has dents and scratches.
Once you and any siblings have gathered information, which may include speaking with neighbors and friends, you might start a conversation about their thoughts for the future. Do they want to stay where they are? Would they consider having someone check in with them on a regular basis? Do they think a residential facility would make life easier for them?
These can be difficult conversations and we need to remember it is a process that will take place over time, unless of course you sense an immediate issue that needs resolution. There are so many options available, just opening the door can be a major step. Good luck!
HEY-Pass it on! Hot Deal on Old Coolers…Con Edison Launches Refrigerator Recycling
Con Edison customers can cash in by recycling their old, energy-wasting “second” refrigerator, have it removed for free and get $30.
The new program is part of the company commitment to help customers save on their electric bills while helping the environment. Older refrigerators can cost twice as much to run as newer, more efficient models. “Old refrigerators account for nearly 20 percent of the energy used by the average New York household,” said Cristina Coltro, Manager for residential energy efficiency programs at Con Edison.
Con Edison residential electric customers in one-to-four family homes are eligible for the incentives. The company will remove regular-sized second, or extra, refrigerators, which are often kept in garages and basements, at no charge. Con Edison will arrange to safely dismantle and recycle the energy-guzzling appliance.
At the time of your refrigerator pick-up, the company will also collect and recycle old, inefficient window or wall air conditioners. Con Edison customers will receive $30 for second refrigerators, $35 for window air conditioners and $100 for wall A/C units.
It has been a glorious start to fall…leaves in brilliant reds, oranges and golds. set against bright, clear blue skies. Days are comfortable, but nighttime is getting chilly, so we close the windows, maybe turn on the heat or if we are so fortunate, light a fire in the fireplace.
Two weeks from today Daylight Savings time will end, and in about 10 days the reminders are going to start-change the batteries in you smoke and CO detectors, I suggest not waiting.
Smoke detector laws in New York State have been on the book for some time, but CO detectors became law earlier this year.
CO-carbon monoxide-is produces when any flamable material does not burn completely-this is any type of flammable material: oil, coal, wood, natural gas; even kerosene, propane, charcoal and gasoline.
Colorless and mostly odorless, symptoms include disorientation, and often mimic those of the flu, and the more severe the exposure, the less likely someone is to be aware of their condition, or able to seek help.
Children, pregnant women and the elderly are at the highest risk. Most recent complete data shows there were 42,000 fire and rescue responses to CO poisoning in 2007.
No one is in more homes than real estate professionals, and no one better poised to help carry this message-dare I suggest year-round. We all have AA and AAA batteries on hand (heaven forbid the remotes don’t work!!) so I have started to keep a supply of fresh 9volt batteries in my car, to leave them with each new client consult, and include new detectors as part of my Staging and Decorating proposals.
Perhaps a new CO detector would make a great closing gift?
Local community laws vary and will trump state requirements-where I live in White Plains, part of getting ANY building permit closed is the installation of hard-wired detectors in the appropriate place. Office managers-how about scheduling an official from the local building department to speak of this at your next office meeting?
We all ‘know’ what fire can do, but seeing it first-hand is something else. Last year I was witness to 2 separate fire restorations. One, very close to home, in my own co-op complex; the other was a project I was called into. The former was a roof repair gone horribly wrong, the latter an electrical fire.
Photo on left is entry into apartment, hole in wall is where electric panel was; on right is in bedroom, looking up into bedroom of upstairs apartment.
If you look carefully, above 2nd beam on the left, you may be able to see outlet cover is melted, and soot stains coming out of it
Every 3,000 miles, and change the filter too-were the hard and fast rules my dad taught me; it might have been more often than recommended in the owners manuals, but in my family, we tended to keep cars for a l-o-n-g time, so it was sort of an insurance policy, proactive maintenance.
Consumers are now being asked to re-think this marker, and not in the way you might expect.
Advances in manufacturing and technology, and lifestyle changes point to longer time between changes; consumer advocates ask we take a look at our driving style/needs, and follow the guidelines of the owner’s manual to ascertain the optimum time for our cars.
Owner’s manual?! I have driven the same brand of car since 1981, and it’s gotten so I look in the owner’s manual only to find out how to re-set the clock when the time changes… but I took a look, and their recommendations are in the 4500-7500 mile range, depending on your driving style.
Overly-frequent oil changes not only wast money, getting rid of oil before it’s time is a hit to the environment, too-synthetic or natural oil, it still has to ‘go’ somewhere.
Jiffy Lube has started a program recommending people make their own decisions, and Edmunds.com is a site all car people know about. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page and there are a whole host of consumer resources, but for those of us not so inclined to peruse it just for yuks, http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/maintenance/articles/164686/article.html will tell you most anything else you want to know.
Grungy dishes coming out of your dishwasher, even with the extended rinse cycle? Chances are it’s neither your dishwasher, or the other people in your life that may have loaded it (who, me??)
In July , laws went on the books in 17 states allowing for no more than 0.5% of product be phosphates; it had been as high as 8.5%. Phosphates are what make things really really clean, and dishwasher detergent was the last hold out in the world of cleaning products.
This level of clean comes at a real cost to the environment…when it got into lakes and streams via runoff, algae production goes into overdrive, taking oxygen away from the rest of the ecosystem.
Chemicals in cleaning products has long been a source of health care concerns, so lowering phosphate levels has several things going for it. Hate to buck any efforts to save our planet, so for now am pre-soaking and giving all dishes, especially anything that had oil on it-a once-over with a soapy sponge before it goes in the dishwasher, then shorter cycle, to compensate.
I may get ambitious and do a vinegar and baking soda type thing down the line, but for now-will not be adding more soap, buying another additive, calling the repair company, or (s-h-h-h-h) be so sure I can load the dishwasher better than Doug.
Have been a furniture and furnishings gal from way back: At age 9, I persuaded my parents to paint the stairway and upstairs hall ceiling yellow and orange (hey, it was the late 60′s) I also moved my bedroom furniture around A LOT.
Went to a school known for fashion, but took every Interior Decorating elective I could. At 21, on a dare, I interviewed for, then accepted a position as a Decorator at Ethan Allen. I discovered dealing with furniture, furnishings, people and their homes was both fun, and surprisingly profound.
About 3-1/2 years ago I read an article in the local paper about an organization called Furniture Sharehouse. It was a furniture bank that collected unwanted furniture in good condition, and redistributed it free, to clients of various Westchester agencies.
The plan had been to profile their Grand Opening, but that April 2007 weekend, a nor’easter slammed the East coast, dumping almost 8 inches of rain in Westchester, flooding much of the Sound Shore area. So instead, the story told of how 65 families who had lost everything were furnished out of a tent in Harbor Island Park by this Furniture Sharehouse organization.
Kept that article for 2 reasons: first as a referral for clients who wanted a good home for their unwanted or unneeded furniture; second, because I thought…’one day, I might want to be a part of that’. Guess what? http://www.vimeo.com/9747580
In 1943 Abraham Maslow proposed what he called his Hierarchy of Needs. Simply stated, an individual could grow, evolve, and deal with larger, more challenging issues only once their more basic needs were met. Don’t want to get all preachy here, but if you’ve read this far, maybe even watched the video, you get it.
Home is where we all start from. Help someone get their space together, you make an immediate and concrete difference in their life, it’s that simple.
Furniture Sharehouse is a year round operation, and is fast closing in on their 1000th Westchester family served. Later this month (10/22) is their inaugural fundraiser, to be held at the Larchmont Yacht Club; Saturday 10/23 is the next furniture drive, held in Armonk as part of their town-wide Zero Waste Day.
The web site has all the details, www.furnituresharehouse.org and your donations of furniture (including pick ups), time, talents, supplies or funds can all be processed thru the site. Remember-weall can do something, ‘just’ spreading the word among your friends, neighbors, family, colleagues and clients is huge.