Maintenance Monday – stay warm with humidity

Keep It Humid

It’s true that it’s not the heat that makes you feel warm, it’s the humidity. Humid air feels warmer than dry air, so in the winter, instead of cranking the heat, run a humidifier. This allows you to turn down the heat, save energy, and still feel comfortable. Live, leafy plants also help raise humidity levels.

Who Knew? 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems

air-o-swiss-ultrasonic-travel-humidifier-1

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Maintenance Monday – how to dry wood

The Only Way to Dry Wood

If a piece of your wood furniture has gotten wet, resist the urge to dry it out with a space heater or hair dryer. Too much heat will make wood crack and warp. Instead, keep the area at room temperature and aim a fan at it.

– Who Knew? 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems

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Maintenance Monday – snow safety

Snow is headed our way tomorrow, so please be careful out there. Watch your step on the slippery sidewalks and watch for the plow trucks while pulling out of your parking spot and driving through the courts. When it snows, we will clear and treat the sidewalks and parking lots. Please remember to stomp your feet outside before entering your building, so you do not track in chemicals. Also, be careful when walking up or down the stairs on the tile so you don’t slip with your wet shoes.

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

When we start clearing the parking spaces, we ask the residents to please move your vehicles in order for us to clear multiple spaces at a time. We also ask you kindly push the snow & ice off their vehicles onto the drive area, rather then back onto the side walks or in between the vehicles. (Even if the drive area has been plowed, we prefer you push the snow onto the drive area).

Please be respectful of the snow plows, and give them ample room to move about in the parking lots. When you are driving toward or behind the plow trucks and tractors, please keep a safe distance. Wait for a signal from the plow driver that it is safe to enter or exit. In return, please give them a warning when you are about to enter or exit. The drivers are multi-tasking with the operation of the plows and salt spreaders along with the driving of the vehicle.

Here are some safety tips for walking in the snow and ice:

1. Wear boots or overshoes with grip soles such as rubber
and neoprene composite. Slick leather or plastic soles on
shoes will definitely increase the risk of slipping.
2. When getting out of your vehicle, look down at the
surface. If it’s coated with ice you might want to park in a
different place.
3. Use special care when entering or exiting Vehicles, use
the vehicle for support. Before standing brace yourself with the vehicle door and
seat back, this will give you some stability.
4. Step – Don’t jump from vehicles and equipment.
5. Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets. This reduces the ability to use
your arms for balance if you do slip.
6. Take short shuffling steps in very icy areas.
7. Don’t carry or swing heavy loads, such as large boxes, cases or purses that
may cause you to lose your balance when you are walking.
8. When walking, curl your toes under and walk as flat-footed as possible.
9. Don’t step on uneven surfaces. Avoid curbs with ice on them.
10. Place your full attention on walking. Digging in your pocketbook or backpack
while walking on ice is dangerous.
11. Test potentially slick areas by tapping your foot on them.
12. Keep walkways clear of debris, water and ice.

Be safe out there and keep warm!

Maintenance Monday – rid of rust

rust

If you’re trying to keep something rust-proof, here’s a solution you can make. Combine two cups of petroleum jelly and half a cup of lanolin in a microwave-safe bowl and heat the mixture until it melts together. Stir frequently, and make sure to apply to the rust-prone item while the mixture is still warm. Remember, don’t wipe it off; allow the paste to dry on the item.

– Who Knew? 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems

Maintenance Monday – disposing of Christmas Trees

tree

Residents of Burnam Woods, Chatham Gardens and Old Orchard Apartments, if you need to dispose of your Christmas Tree, please do not carry it through the hall because of the mess and hazard caused by its needles. Instead, please toss your tree over your balcony into the yard area being careful not to allow it to drop onto patios below. Please dispose of your tree by January 17. Thank you for your cooperation. Happy New Year!

Maintenance Monday – cooking odors

While celebrating during this holiday season, please remember that not everyone wants to smell what you are cooking. Please keep your front door shut and use your kitchen exhaust fan when you are cooking aromatic foods. Using your fan will keep your cooking smells from leaving your apartment and migrating into the hallways and other apartments.

considerate cookingconsiderate cooking

This week’s Maintenance Monday tip brought to you by Michigan Tech.

Maintenance Monday – snow removal

With the snow and ice yesterday and more expected tomorrow, please be careful out there. Watch your step on the slippery sidewalks and watch for the plow trucks while pulling out of your parking spot and driving through the courts.

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

(photo by Chatham resident Marguerite Buzza)

When it snows, we will clear and treat the sidewalks and parking lots. Please remember to stomp your feet outside before entering your building, so you do not track in chemicals. Also, be careful when walking up or down the stairs on the tile with your wet shoes.

When we start clearing the parking spaces, we ask the residents to please move your vehicles in order for us to clear multiple spaces at a time. We also ask you kindly push the snow & ice off their vehicles onto the drive area, rather then back onto the side walks or in between the vehicles. (Even if the drive area has been plowed, we prefer you push the snow onto the drive area).

Please be respectful of the snow plows, and give them ample room to move about in the parking lots. When you are driving toward or behind the plow trucks and tractors, please keep a safe distance. Wait for a signal from the plow driver that it is safe to enter or exit. In return, please give them a warning when you are about to enter or exit. The drivers are multi-tasking with the operation of the plows and salt spreaders along with the driving of the vehicle.

Be safe out there and keep warm!

Maintenance Monday – waxy candlesticks

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If you’ve just removed your candlesticks from the cupboard for a party and they’re covered in wax, try this handy trick: Just stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours. The wax will harden and chip right off.

Who Knew? 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems

Maintenance Monday – turkey safety

thanksgiving-turkey-dinner

This week’s Maintenance Monday tip is about how to prepare, cook and store your holiday Turkey. Ok, it isn’t really a ‘maintenance’ tip, but it is sort of a ‘Do It Yourself’. Besides it is a shortened holiday week, so let’s get into the spirit!

Holiday Cooking

Turkey Food Safety

During the holiday season, people are buying turkeys for that big family meal. Everyone wants to find the perfect bird, but cooking it properly is even more important. These tips can help you create a safe and delicious meal.

Buying & Storing

Fresh and frozen birds differ in cook and storage time, but not taste or quality. If you like to buy your turkey ahead of time, try a frozen bird. If you have limited storage space, you may prefer a fresh turkey.

When buying a whole turkey, estimate one pound of turkey for each person.

Fresh Turkey

Fresh turkeys can be kept in the refrigerator for only one or two days, but after that, they must be cooked or frozen. Store a fresh turkey in a pan in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. (Always keep raw animal products separated from ready-to-eat food products.)

Frozen Turkey

Leave the turkey in the original packaging and keep it frozen until you are ready to cook it. Unless you thaw the turkey in the refrigerator, you will not be able to refreeze it once it has thawed.

Frozen turkeys should be cooked within one year for best quality.

Pre-Stuffed Turkeys

Do not buy pre-stuffed fresh turkeys. These turkeys can contain harmful bacteria if handled improperly. If you do want your turkey to be pre-stuffed, purchase a frozen pre-stuffed turkey that is marked with USDA or state inspection seals.

Do not thaw pre-stuffed frozen turkeys before cooking.

Thawing

In the Refrigerator

The safest way to thaw a frozen turkey is in the refrigerator. Keep the turkey in its original packaging, and place a pan underneath to catch any drips.

Allow for a thawing time of 24 hours for every four to five pounds of turkey. Once the turkey has thawed, it can be kept in the refrigerator for one to two days.

In the Kitchen Sink

For a quicker thawing method, submerge your turkey in the kitchen sink. Put the turkey in a heavy freezer bag and close it tightly. Place it in a clean sink, and fill the sink with cold water until the turkey is completely submerged.

Change the water every half hour to keep it cool. The turkey should thaw for about 30 minutes per pound.

If you thaw your turkey in the sink, cook it immediately after thawing. It cannot be refrigerated or refrozen.

In the Microwave

If the turkey will fit, you can use a microwave for fast thawing. Check the microwave owner’s manual for the recommended power level and amount of time per pound. Remove all packaging and place the bird in a microwave-safe dish.

Cook the turkey immediately after thawing. It is not safe to refrigerate or refreeze a microwave-thawed turkey.

Preparation

Prevent Cross-Contamination

Carefully open any packaging covering the turkey and dispose of it right away. Wash any surfaces that the meat, juices, or packaging might have touched, including refrigerator or freezer shelves.

If you use the kitchen sink to thaw the turkey, be sure to drain and sanitize the sink immediately afterward. If you thaw any raw meat in the microwave, sanitize it as well.

When handling fresh and frozen raw meat, wash your hands, utensils, dishes, and kitchen surfaces frequently with hot, soapy water. Use separate knives and cutting boards when preparing the turkey and stuffing.

Early Preparation

Some people prefer to cook their turkeys a day or two in advance. Once the bird has been cooked, carve it and refrigerate the meat in small, shallow containers. The wings, legs, and thighs may be left whole. You can also refrigerate the juices that collect in the bottom of the pan during cooking.

On the day you plan to eat the turkey, reheat the meat in an oven heated to at least 325°F.

Cooking

Stuffing

To save time, you can prepare the stuffing ingredients in advance. Keep wet and dry ingredients separated — and the wet ingredients refrigerated — until just before you cook the stuffing.

The safest way to make stuffing is to cook it separately, not inside the turkey. If you do choose to stuff the turkey, pack the stuffing loosely, and cook the turkey immediately afterwards. Remove the stuffing from the turkey about 20 minutes after the turkey is done cooking.

Frozen Turkey

You can safely cook a frozen turkey without thawing it first. A frozen bird will take 50 percent longer to cook than a thawed or fresh turkey. Remove the giblets with tongs or a fork while the turkey is cooking.

Remember: Do not thaw pre-stuffed frozen turkeys before cooking.

Fresh or Thawed Turkey

Be sure to remove the giblets immediately after thawing. Giblets should be cooked separately.

Preheat the oven to at least 325°F. Place the turkey in a shallow roasting pan. The inside temperature of the turkey must reach 165°F for it to be safe to eat. You may cook the turkey to a higher temperature if desired.

Use a food thermometer to check the temperature at the thickest part of the turkey breast and at the innermost part of the thigh and wing. Even if your turkey comes with a “pop-up” thermometer, double-check the temperature with a food thermometer.

Cook an unstuffed turkey for approximately 15 minutes per pound. Allow a few extra minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.

Cooking the turkey uncovered will give it a roasted flavor, but can also dry out the meat. Put the turkey in an oven cooking bag for more tender meat and faster cooking. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the bag.

Other options include pouring half a cup of water into the bottom of the pan or covering the turkey with the roasting pan lid or aluminum foil. Covering the turkey will reduce oven splatter and overbrowning.

After removing the turkey from the oven, let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.

Leftovers

Your turkey and other cooked foods will need to be eaten within two hours. After that time, leftovers should be refrigerated or thrown away. (If the temperature is over 90°F, food needs to be refrigerated or disposed of after one hour.)

Leftover meat should be eaten within three to four days; gravy, within one to two days. You can also freeze leftovers, but make sure you eat them within six months.

Turkey leftovers may be eaten cold or reheated in the oven or microwave. The oven should be heated to at least 325°F. Follow the owner’s manual instructions for reheating turkey in the microwave.

For more questions on turkey or other holiday foods, contact your local Extension office or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

Maintenance Monday – oven cleaning

don't let this happen to you

don’t let this happen to you

Your oven’s auto clean (or self clean) is a great feature, if you use it properly. Set a regular cleaning schedule for your oven, so there is no heavy build up of grease and debris. This is a potential fire hazard. Wipe any loose debris away before setting your oven to auto clean. Also while in the auto clean mode, use proper ventilation by opening a window and turning on the exhaust fan. And NEVER EVER leave the apartment while your oven is in the auto clean mode. Actually never leave your apartment while your oven is turned on, whether it is cleaning or cooking.