Halloween 2014

pumpkinsThe fall weather has been a pleasant surprise lately, but winter will soon be upon us!  Hope it will hold out for a great Halloween night for kids and adults alike.  Read on for some tips on carving your pumpkin like an expert and staying safe on Halloween night.

T.

Pumpkin Carving

carvingCarving a pumpkin is easy, according to Tom Nardone of Extreme Pumpkins. Although many of the methods he uses apply to anyone, he gives a few suggestions, shortcuts and tricks on carving the perfect pumpkin.

Here are Tom’s Top 8 Pumpkin Carving Tips:

1. Choose the right pumpkin. I like them taller than they are wide because that is the shape of a face. I also like them big and ugly because that makes them look interesting.

carving22. Decapitation or Back Surgery?: You don’t have to take off the top, you can also take of the bottom or the back,. I cut off the bottom if I want the top to look untouched and I cut off the back if I want to use the entire front, top, and bottom for a design. Regardless, you do want to get in there and remove the seeds, if you don’t the squirrels will.

3. Cutting the Plug: Decapitating is the toughest thing to do, the top of the pumpkin is woody and tough. You need a strong blade. I use a drywall saw for this. They don’t cost much, about $6 and they are hard to match. If I didn’t have one, I’d use a filet knife and I’d be cautious. Cut the plug to be a cone-shape with a little jog in it, so that it comes out easily and fits back easily too.

carving34. Scoop the goop: I use my ice cream scoop. Not only that, but I’ve gotten my arm dirty enough times to have developed a way to stay fairly clean. Scrape around the sides, starting from the hole opening to the bottom. Then, after all of the walls are scraped, dump the pumpkin into the trash. Easy!

5. Draw the face: I use dry erase markers because if you don’t like your work, you can erase it! Also, after you are done, your pumpkin won’t end up with an accidental layer of guy-liner that screams “sloppy”.

6. I’m really lazy, so I use power tools to carve my pumpkins. Sure, a kit from the store will do the trick, but I want it done quickly. Mostly I use my jigsaw to remove chunks (like eyes and the mouth) and then a rotary tool to carve away the skin. For big areas I’m not afraid to break out an angle grinder. It removes the pumpkin skin and can even be used to shape the pumpkin.

carving47. Great Props Are Everywhere. I look for fun props everywhere, but my favorite places are the grocery store, home depot, and the craft store. I like to use twizzlers for dreadlocks, wood chips for teeth, taffy for tongues, home insulation for brains, all sorts of things. I’ve become the best pumpkin carver on the block by using some really cheap gags and you can too.

8. Preserving Your Pumpkin: Pumpkins rot. But yours doesn’t have to rot as quickly. When my pumpkin is done, I spray it with bathroom cleaner with bleach. This keeps the bugs, mold, and animals away.

Now to find the perfect place to show off your creation!  Enjoy!

Halloween Safety

…from our Fire Department

BEFORE HALLOWEEN NIGHT 

  • costumePlan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglemnent or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick or treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Secure  emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire.
  • Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
  • Plan ahead to use only battery powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
  • This is also a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home smoke alarm.
  • Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
  • Review with your children the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll” should their clothes catch fire.
  • Take extra time to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.

BEFORE NIGHTFALL ON HALLOWEEN

  • ghost-lightsA good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider safety when decorating.  Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects, and do not block exterior doors.  To light up your path or sidewalk, why not take some empty plastic bottles, paint on a face and throw in a glow stick?  Safe and easy!
  • While children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O’ Lantern, leave the carving to adults.
  • Always keep Jack O’Lanterns and hot electrical lamps away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children or pets will be standing or walking.
  • Plan and review with your children the route and behaviour which is acceptable to you.
  • Do not permit children to bicycle, roller blade or skateboard.
  • Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home.
  • Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare the household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds.  Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags.
  • Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.
  • Adult party-goers should establish and reward a designated driver.

Current Mortgage Rates

TERM                  RATE

5 Year Fixed        2.99%

5 Year VRM         2.40% Prime minus 0.60%

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions.” 

– Dalai Lama

Mortgage Expertise at your doorstep 24/7

Paul Croteau, AMP Mortgage Specialist BMO Bank of Montreal
Phone: (905) 321-3230 Fax: (905) 641-7854 Paul.croteau@bmo.com

The Salisbury Team made selling my home completely painless

Alex-Novis“The Salisbury Team made selling my home completely painless. I was confident leaving the details to them. Tim’s knowledge of the local market and trends were key in selling my home under 3 weeks.”

Alexandra Novis

Thanksgiving 2014

pumpkinEnjoy the long weekend eating turkey with your family and friends! May it be a great celebration!

T.

 

 

Thankfulness

turkeyEven though we may stuff ourselves at the dinner table, celebrating Thanksgiving can actually make us healthier judging by recent research. Studies have shown that being thankful improves our physical and emotional health. Holding on to feelings of thankfulness boosts our immune system and increases blood supply to our heart. Daily guided exercises or the habit of keeping a weekly gratitude journal can increase our alertness, enthusiasm and energy, and improve our sleep. People who describe themselves as feeling grateful tend to suffer less stress and depression than the rest of the population.

For all its benefits, gratitude doesn’t come naturally to us. As North Americans, we have been given a lot and take a lot for granted. We live in a culture that encourages us to act on the basis of how we feel. But when we focus on our blessings rather than on our worries, it’s easier to keep our problems and concerns in the right perspective.

thankfulCultivating a spirit of thankfulness helps to strengthen our relationships with other people. We can’t be in a right relationship with anyone without a spirit of thankfulness. No matter what problems we’re struggling with, always remember to be thankful for your circumstances. It will help to improve your physical and emotional health in the end.

 
 

Testimonial

hammondsWe are so pleased that we chose Timothy to sell our home. He was so easy to talk to. He knew what we expected and he worked hard and fast to help us reach our goal. We would highly recommend you choose Tim if you want to sell your home.

Thanks again Tim,
Connie & Bruce Hammond

Check out more Buyer and Seller Testimonials.

Current Mortgage Rates

TERM                  RATE

2 Year Fixed        2.59%

5 Year Fixed        2.99%

5 Year VRM         2.40% Prime minus 0.60%

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” 

– Mark Twain

Mortgage Expertise at your doorstep 24/7

Paul Croteau, AMP Mortgage Specialist BMO Bank of Montreal
Phone: (905) 321-3230 Fax: (905) 641-7854 Paul.croteau@bmo.com

Welcome to 36 Haig St.

1.36 Haig St Main

This St. Catharines home is now priced at $138,000.00

Welcome to 36 Haig St. This home is perfect investment opportunity or a great home to flip!  Handyman Special!  House needs work.  Centrally located 1.5 story home with 3 bedrooms, one on the main floor. There are hardwood floors throughout the living, dining and bedroom areas.  3 piece bathroom upstairs and a one piece bathroom in the basement. Plaster construction throughout.  Updates include central air 6 years ago, roof done in 2012, updated front door and some windows replaced.  Detached garage measures 20’ x 20’ and is propane heated.  Fenced yard.  Property taxes for 2014 are $2345.00.  Call Timothy to view this home!

For more pictures of this and other homes, please go to the listings page of St. Catharines Real Estate or the blog listings section.

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We are so pleased that we chose Timothy to sell our home

Seller - Bruce & Connie Hammond“We are so pleased that we chose Timothy to sell our home.  He was so easy to talk to.  He knew what we expected and he worked hard and fast to help us reach our goal.  We would highly recommend you choose Timothy if you want to sell your home.”

Connie & Bruce Hammond