Winter Is Coming – Again

It’s March 13, and you know what that means. More light in the evenings, spring bulbs popping up everywhere, and – 12 to 18 inches of snow?? Oh yeah, this is New England. Sorry.

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Graphic from my favorite winter weather forecast site – check it out for great snow maps!

That’s right. We have a major snowstorm scheduled to hit us tomorrow, with likely blizzard conditions, so today is your day to make sure you’re fully prepared.

  • If you don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow, don’t plan on it, and if your employer allows you to work from home, take full advantage.
  • Make sure you have plenty of food and any necessary medical supplies at home; I like to joke about the “French Toast Alert” that seems to go off in New Englanders’ heads when a storm is predicted, that makes them all rush to the grocery store for milk, bread, and eggs, but it’s a good idea to stock up in case you lose power or you’re stuck at home for a couple of days.
  • Stock up on things like ice melt, snow shovels, and fuel for your snowblower too.
  • Charge up your electronics, again in case you lose power, and make sure your heating system is in good working order (and fully supplied if you depend on oil, wood, or pellets for your heat).
  • Check on your elderly or vulnerable neighbors to make sure they have everything they need to get through the storm, too.
  • And finally, keep yourself informed. I like the site I linked above for snowfall forecasts, but there are tons of great weather sites out there like Weather Underground and the Weather Channel that will help keep you up to date.

Stay warm and safe and I’ll see you on the other side!

Happy New Year!

Hello, readers, and welcome to 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and you’re feeling rested, refreshed, and ready to tackle the New Year. I’m looking forward to a successful year, myself.

Since January’s not only the start of the new year but also my birthday month, I always find it to be a good time to reflect back on the previous year, figure out what worked and what didn’t, and decide how I’m going to approach the coming months. As part of that, I want to invite you, the readers, to let me know your thoughts. Is there any content you’d particularly like to see me cover? What’s working for you about this blog? What’s not working?

I’d love to hear any and all feedback you have for me so I can help make this blog better. So please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Franklin Community Gardens need you!

May is here, and even though it’s been chilly and rainy, I think we can safely say that winter is officially over. In case you haven’t been spending the winter dreaming about your 2016 garden, it’s time to start planning!

franklincommunitygarden

If you’re not able to grow a garden where you live, due to lack of sun, soil conditions, or any other reason, why not consider joining the Franklin Community Gardens? We have 11 raised beds (pictured above) available for lease this season, and we’d love to have you help us fill them! The garden is located at the King Street Memorial Park in Franklin, and you can get started with us as soon as you like. Just email the Garden Committee at franklincommunitygardens @ gmail.com for more information. Even if you don’t want to or can’t lease a bed with us, you’re always welcome to stop by our events to learn more. Keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out what’s going on and let us know what you’d like to see. We hope to hear from you soon!

Stay warm!

In case you haven’t heard, it’s going to be wicked #%*# cold this weekend. It’s a good time to cozy up in front of a fire with your sweetheart, your pets, a good book, and/or a hot chocolate (I promise not to tell if you spike it). 

Please keep yourself safe and stay indoors as much as possible, bundle up if you have to go out, and keep an eye out for any neighbors or friends that might need help. Keep your home safe, too, since frozen pipes are a real possibility with this weather. A local plumber shared this advice on Facebook today, which I’ll pass on to you: 

“ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!  This weekend with the sub-zero temperatures don’t skimp on the thermostat settings. An extra 30 bucks spent on fuel could save thousands in damages caused by burst pipes etc. My advice is to use the HOLD TEMP button on those pesky electronic thermostats and set them all to 70 degrees. Don’t forget about those back zones you don’t use. Crank all of them. Also most heating systems in the Boston area are only designed to heat the inside of a building to 68 – 70 degrees only down to an outdoor temperature of 5 degrees and at a steady state only! That means if your setback thermostat shuts down to 64 degrees at night then switches back to 70 degrees at 6AM tomorrow when its in the single digits outside, good luck recovering the house to decent temperature. So if its -10 outside this weekend, and you wake up to a house that’s 65 degrees and all the pipes are hot and running properly, your doing alright!”

Proposed Schedule Changes – Franklin Line

One of the great things about Franklin is that we have easy access into Boston via the MBTA commuter rail. However, if you’re a regular rider, you should be aware that the MBTA is proposing significant schedule changes to take effect on May 23, 2016.

From the T’s website, they claim that “the proposed schedule changes are designed to improve service by:

  • Reducing the incidence of delays that affect subsequent departures and multiple lines,
  • Representing more accurately the actual travel time along each line, and
  • Allowing sufficient time to perform necessary maintenance between trips.”

Fortunately, they’re giving everyone a chance to weigh in before the changes are finalized. By February 12, 2016, make sure you review the proposed changes on the linked .pdf here, and fill out the comment form online here. You can also provide your input by mail to the MBTA, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Commuter Rail Schedule Committee, or attend an upcoming public meeting. Don’t miss your chance to let the T know how you feel!

 

Can I recycle this?

Ever found yourself staring at a piece of plastic or styrofoam and wondering if it’s recyclable or not? If you’re in Franklin, you now have a handy resource to give you the answer!

recycling

The Department of Public Works has put together the Franklin Recyclopedia, which is “designed to help you properly dispose of anything and everything.” From the above link, it’s easy to find out how to get rid of whatever item you have: just click on the letter your item begins with, and scroll down till you find your answer. Over 350 items are included in the Recyclopedia, but if your item is the rare one that isn’t listed, just call the DPW at (508) 553-5500 and they’ll help you out.

If you’re not located in Franklin, chances are good your local Department of Public Works may have similar information available. Check them out and you might find some great resources you didn’t know you had!

Let it snow (or not)

So far, we’ve been lucky this winter (if you feel like a lack of snow is lucky). Last year around this time, my yard looked like this:

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Still, we’re probably not going to make it to spring entirely unscathed. It’s a good idea to use this in-between time to stock up on firewood and ice melt, and make sure your snowblower or shovel is in good shape – don’t do what I did last year and put off buying a roof rake until there’s six feet of snow on your roof and every store within fifty miles is sold out! If you’re well-prepared, you can settle in at home and enjoy the snowstorm without stress. (Of course, this being Massachusetts, it’s mandatory to participate in the pre-blizzard French Toast Alert regardless of what kind of supplies you already have at home.)