Saturday, November 1, 2014

10 Things for November

In no particular order:

  1. With the holidays coming up, now is a good time to stock up on a lot of food basics (frozen turkeys, flour, sugar, and other baking items, etc) since many stores will be deeply discounting these items as loss leaders for Thanksgiving.
  2. While I haven't heard of much of a problem with the flu so far this season, consider getting a flu shot if your doctor recommends it.  The flu can be fatal and a shot is better than a flat-on-your-back-for-a-week illness.
  3. Now is a good time to get your vehicle ready for winter.  Check the fluids and the wiper blades, change the oil, and make sure your snow tires/chains are in good condition.  Also keep some winter emergency supplies in your vehicle in case you end up stranded.
  4. People are looking for gifts for the upcoming holidays so consider cleaning out your stuff and listing items for sale on eBay or Craigslist in order to generate a bit of cash which you can then use to buy your own gifts.
  5. Get a carbon monoxide detector for your home (and the garage if you tend to hang out in the garage a lot).  This is prime season for carbon monoxide poisoning since people are both using heating and cooking appliances AND keeping the doors and windows closed up to keep the cold out.
  6. Speaking of cold, you can simply and relatively cheaply make small improvements to increase your home's ability to keep the heat in and the cold out.  Weather stripping, plastic over the windows if necessary, more insulation in cold areas of the home, wrapping pipes, and other small tasks will lower your heating bill and keep your home warmer.
  7. Be sure you take care of your pets as the weather turns cold.  Things like breaking the ice on the water bowl for your outdoor animals, thicker bedding, and washing off your animal's feet if they walk where salt or chemicals are used on frozen walkways are some of the things we haven't had to think about in quite a while.
  8. Take a camping trip.  Although this is not prime time for camping it is #1, good for practicing winter survival skills, and #2, you will probably end up with many great camping areas to yourself.
  9. Keep up your exercise routine.  Consider other, weather-appropriate activities to stay in shape and change things up as the weather gets colder.
  10. Give to others.  I'm into preparedness to take care of me and mine but giving to those in need when I am able to is also important.  You can donate officially (through a reputable service agency like the Red Cross or Toys for Tots, for example), or unofficially (I've got a couple of local homeless guys that I keep in clothes and the occasional bag of food as well as a few single mothers we know who can always use a little extra).

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