Saturday, October 19, 2013

Northeast Ohio’s Signature Holiday

Happy Sweetest Day!- Although it has grabbed a bad reputation over the years- labeled as a candy-industry creation, or Hallmark Holiday - it’s early start is nothing to forget.

The very first Sweetest Day was in Cleveland in the early 1920’s-  A committee planned the first Sweetest Day and distributed candy and treats to “newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor” in an effort to do something kind for those less fortunate.  Several big ticket movie stars assisted in handing out the treats, and the rest is history!

Today we view Sweetest Day as a secondary, love-related holiday in comparison to Valentine’s day.  Predominantly celebrated in Cleveland and Detroit, although the tradition did catch on in a few other places throughout the US.

It is quite possible that if you visit other parts of the country and mention this October holiday, people may have no idea what you are talking about!  However if you have recently moved to Northeast Ohio, you better be prepared to participate!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Halloween Fun in Northeast Ohio

‘Tis the season to bundle up, dress up and venture out for some Halloween and Fall fun!  Our area has an abundance of things to see and do in October! From local pumpkin patches to hayrides and hauntings- Clear your schedules and enjoy this time of year!

Lake Metroparks has haunted hayrides and a spooky trail- great for the kids, but be sure to make reservations! The events will sell out quickly, but now is the perfect time while the weather is still decent.  Cleveland Metroparks also hosts Fall hayrides- running throughout October on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

Boo at the Zoo is another fantastic event- October 17-20 & 24-27, 2013 from
6 - 9 p.m. at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo- and Friday, Saturday and Sundays at Akron Zoo- find kiddo-friendly (non-scary) d├ęcor and fun- including Trick or Treat, animal exhibits and entertainment at every turn.

For adult fun, Put-in-Bay is hosting Octoberfest THIS WEEKEND! And there is also an array of haunted houses in and around our area.  If you love to be frightened, then you will definitely find enough to keep you busy this month! Couple that with Halloween parties and horror movie debuts- Plenty to scare and celebrate.

Of course we can’t forget choosing and carving pumpkins, picking apples and hot apple cider- The favorites that tie the entire season together.  Just make sure you leave time to do that fall yard cleanup! Better yet, grab the pumpkin leaf bags and double your cleanup and decorating- it’s a win-win!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Keep that Furnace in Shape!

Furnaces can be a pricey replacement, and regular maintenance can greatly extend the use and efficiency of one of the most important appliances in your home!  One of the factors typically taken into consideration when purchasing a home is the age and status of the furnace- However maintenance is just as important, if not more so!  On top of general use for you and your family, it is a great idea to keep records for services performed on your furnace if you decide to sell your home in the future.

If you have a new furnace, it is still important to ensure that the filters are clean, and that the furnace is operating at its best.  Make sure you register your product with the manufacturer, as many give a pretty wide window to ensure that furnaces are registered for any manufacturer warranty programs.  If it was just installed, chances are you will be good for the season- however if it has sat the summer months, or is even just a year or so old- it is a good idea to being your maintenance program.

Many factors impact the performance of your heating source- What type of furnace do you have? Gas, fuel oil or electric are the most common.  The type of furnace is dependent on your location, the age of your home and the cost of commodities such as natural gas and electricity.   Many homes that were built prior to city gas line installs may still have alternative methods for heat- such as fuel or electric.  Although different, each type has its positives and negatives.  Any local heating and cooling professional will be able to service, inspect and recommend proper maintenance for each type.

Establishing and keeping up with a routine maintenance plan can pay off big in the long run- small issues due to blocked filters can add up into high costs if the furnace abruptly stops working and you need to make an emergency service call in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter!  Furnace inspections are commonplace when purchasing a home, and home ownership should be no different- replacement costs and labor can be delayed for many years if proper care is taken. 

Trying to DIY is a possibility, however if you are like me and take one look at a maintenance checklist- Half of the terms are foreign, and not to mention we are talking about working with electricity, fire, and gas!  In my opinion, this is a job best left for the pros- Give me a call for great local providers!