September Home Tips

The neatest way to discard wilted, dried or dead flowers from a vase:  open a full-sized newspaper, thick enough to absorb some water and with papers pulled high enough to easily hold any long-stemmed flowers, and place the papers as close to the vase as possible.  Move the vase to the middle of the newspaper and lift the flowers onto the newspaper—no scattered petals, leaves, etc.

To keep squirrels off bird-feeder poles, buy a plastic shower rod cover—available in several colors—and attach it to the pole.  The shower rod cover will be too slippery for squirrels.

To check any recalls on your car and for free repair of the recall repair:; Vehicle Owners; then Recalls, Complaints, Investigations.  Enter your car’s year and make—then Go.  Any service bulletins will pop up.

August Home Tips

Hello, Everyone!

Here in Cambridge, we’re sweltering under the hot sun. The Washington Post published an article by Michael Holich, M.D., a dermatologist at the BU Medical Ctr, which appears to be a very measured approach to sun exposure/the need for Vitamin D. Here is the link for “Go Ahead, Soak Up Some Sun.

The last thing on your mind in July is your heating unit, but in preparation for the late fall and because it will be easier to get a service person now…if you have a vented burner, to ensure your safety, be sure it has a spill switch or have one installed. If the unit malfunctions or snow, etc., blocks the exterior vent, the unit will shut off, preventing the escape of carbon monoxide into your house.

And again…if you see English Ivy on your trees or on your neighbors’ trees, pls have it removed/let them know before it chokes and kills the trees. Some of the vines are so thick that a saw or sharp knife will be needed to sever them. The ivy is really bad and it is attacking/has killed so many trees in Cambridge, Belmont and Somerville.

Have a good August!


July Home Tips

Hello, Everyone, Three items (among a number of others) you shouldn’t keep in a garage: Refrigerator—when the garage is cold, the compressor won’t run long enough to cool the freezer properly and when it’s hot, money and energy are wasted; Gasoline or Oil—vapors are flammable. Paint—wide temperature swings can damage paint. So many properties I see lack sufficient smoke detectors or have them in the wrong place or are missing carbon monoxide detectors. If you are unsure of today’s code, pls call or email me for details. The information is on the web but not always as easily interpreted as one would hope. Happy Summer! Very best, Bonny

June Home Tips

Hello, Everyone, Except for a few odd days, I think it is safe to assume that summer is here… Consumer Reports gives Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin ($8.25) insect repellent a rating of 96, considerably higher than the Repel brands just below it, which are rated 87 and 82 and cost a bit less. Interestingly, the California Baby Natural Bug Blend at $15.50, which has the highest price on the list, is rated only 22. Pls remember that if you see English Ivy on your trees or on the trees of anyone you know, it kills trees by strangling and dehydrating them. English Ivy is pernicious and is not a native plant. For those of you without central air conditioning, Consumer Reports rates these window ac’s best: 100-300 square feet—GE AEMO5LS @$210; 250-400 square feet—GE AEMO8LT @$300; 350-650 square feet—LG LW1214ER @$350; Friedrich Chill CP10G10A @$400; GE AER10AT @$250. Enjoy your weekend! Best, Bonny