Category Archives: Seasonal

things to do in may photo galeMay is a good month to finish your Spring To Do List, and start thinking about tackling your Summer To Do List.

 

 

  • Turn on your outdoor spigots and check your garden hoses for leaks.
  • Take a look at your deck or patio. Does your deck need to be repainted or refinished? Does your patio need new bricks or stones?
  • Wash and set out your outdoor furniture.
  • Inspect your pool after the long winter. Start getting it ready for the upcoming summer months.
  • We use our outdoor grill year round, but it’s a good idea in the spring to clean it and make sure you have enough propane or charcoal.
  • Mulch your shrubbery bed, and till and prepare your vegetable garden.
  • Memorial Day Weekend is a popular time in New England to buy your tomato plants for your home garden.
  • Take the cover off your outdoor air conditioning unit and open up your vents in your house. Test the central air conditioning system well before the first hot day of summer, or you may be surprised! Start thinking about putting your window air conditioners back in the windows.
  • Wash your windows, inside and out.
  • Buy sunscreen products and bug spray so you are ready for the summer months.
  • Go through your winter wool clothes and decide what is headed for the dry cleaners and what is headed to Goodwill.
  • In New England, May is a great month to start up your walking regimen.

Gale Crop 2011 jpegAbout the Author – When Gale is not working at home on her “To Do List”, she enjoys working with both Sellers and Buyers. Gale Spadafora is one of the Broker Owners at RE/MAX Legacy and can be contacted through her website at www.galespadafora.com.


roland treeIt’s once again the holiday season and a question that many people have to answer is:  What kind of Christmas tree am I going to get?

It seems like a simple enough question, but its answer can get complicated.  Do you want artificial?  Should I cut down my own?  Should I support a local tree stand or garden center or go to a bigger store like Home Depot?

Let’s start with artificial.  Back in the fifties, my family traditionally got a real tree and usually a very big one.  Sometimes the top had to have so much cut off, we almost had a 2nd tree as a result.  And then one year my parents went to Gilchrist at Redstone Shopping Center and bought an artificial tree.  It was never explained to me why they did this, but I do remember the tree…in all of its silver glory.  Why silver?  Trees are green…aren’t they?  Well today, the artificial trees look almost real and if you have the room to store it and the patience to reassemble it year after year, then artificial isn’t a bad way to go.

If you want a real tree, it’s a simple task.  Go to your favorite local tree stand and find the one that catches your eye that will go perfectly in the designated spot in your living room or family room.  Check the branches to be certain they are firm (not wimpy) so the ornaments will not droop.  Most likely the prices will vary based on height of the tree and the quality.  Do you know if the needles will drop off the one you choose?  Well the main way to make certain the tree won’t lose needles rapidly is to check it for freshness (not dry) and make sure you keep it watered once it’s in your home.  It is important to cut a half inch or so off the bottom before setting the tree in the stand.  This will help allow the tree to take up water so as to keep it fresh as long as possible.

One thing we know when we go to a local tree stand is that these trees weren’t cut down yesterday and most likely are already a month or so old.  So if you really want a fresh tree, perhaps a trip to a local tree farm is the answer.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a tree farm within driving distance of where you live, you can go there and cut down your own.  Although prices may vary, many have a simple approach.  All trees, regardless of size are the same price.  So you grab one of the saws they provide, walk through rows and rows of trees, and all different varieties and sizes until that perfect (or almost perfect) tree for your home is standing in front of you.  Interestingly this tree, once it’s at home in your tree stand, is not going to take up as much water right away as the pre-cut tree from your local tree stand.  That’s because it is already quite moist (fresh) and it needs to dry out a bit before it will need more water intake.

So whatever your choice, it’s what works best for you and your family and there is no right or wrong.  Mainly it’s about having a holiday spirit and your tree can help make that happen.

Roland Crop 2011 jpeg (1)About the author:  Roland cuts down a tree every year with his step-daughter for her home, but continues to buy his own at the local tree stand.  He will tell you traditions are important to maintain.  Roland is a broker owner at RE/MAX Legacy.


Category: Holidays, Seasonal

apple picking GaleIt’s Fall in New England and that means only one thing! It’s Apple Picking Time! Pack up your family or head out on your own and enjoy the foliage along your ride to the orchards. Be prepared for an outdoor activity and make sure you wear sturdy footwear and layered clothing, and pack sunscreen and insect repellent. Besides apple picking, a lot of the orchards have hay rides, farm animals, and farmstands. Make sure you try the Cider Donuts if your orchard offers them.

Apples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use.  They’re big, not easily bruised, and most varieties store well. Apples can be eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many delicious dishes.  And apples are fat-free, low sodium, and cholesterol-free.

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Russell Orchards

143 Argilla Rd.

Ipswich, MA

978-356-5366

www.russellorchards.com

Russell Orchards has fruit picking, hayrides, farm animals, bakery, store, and a winery. The bakery is located in the farm store and you can watch the apple cider donuts being made, as they drop into the fryer and bob their way down the conveyor. Besides the donuts the store features homemade pies, candy and fudge, local cheese and produce. The kids will enjoy feeding the farm animals. There is a wine tasting bar for adults, featuring wines from farm fresh ingredients.

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Parlee Farms

95 Farwell Road

Tyngsboro MA

978-649-3854

www.Parleefarms.com

Parlee Farms has fruit picking, hayrides, farm animals, farm stand, and special things for kids. After your apple picking adventure stop by Annie’s Animal Barns to see over 70 young farm animals. Enjoy feeding and petting the animals. There is a Hay Play area where there are almost 200 large round bales that kids can walk on top of, or make jumps to the next hay bale. For kids between 42”-55” in height there is Farmer Mark’s Tractor Training Course. The kids will have fun driving the heavy duty electric tractors around the track.

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Honey Pot Hill Orchards

138 Sudbury Road

Stow MA

978-562-5666

www.honeypothill.com

Honey Pot Hill Orchards has fruit picking, hayrides, farm animals, farm store and 3 mazes. When you are finished your apple picking check out the farm animals that include goats, sheep, bunnies and baby chicks. Honey Pot has three mazes! One of the mazes is called the “Big Green Monster Maze” and is 1.5 miles in length and can take up to 1 hour to complete. It has 3,000 hedges, 6 bridges and a look out gazebo.

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Pick a nice day. Have fun. And “eat an apple a day”!

 

Gale Crop 2011 jpegAbout the Author – Gale Spadafora is one of the Broker Owners at RE/MAX Legacy and can be contacted through her website at www.galespadafora.com. She enjoys working with both Sellers and Buyers.

 

 


Gale Grill photoNow that the summer is in full gear we are grilling more and more.  At our house we usually grill year round and shovel a path on our deck to the grill.  But this past winter the grilling stopped for months when we couldn’t even open our back door to the deck due to the high snow drifts.  So I am especially enjoying the outdoor grilling this summer.  We grill the usual hamburgers and steaks. But my favorite is grilled salmon, and skewered fish and vegetables.   I also enjoy chicken on the grill.  Anything not to get my kitchen oven going on a hot evening.

My favorite grilling book is old and torn and well used. It is called “365 Great Barbecue & Grilling Recipes” by Lonnie Gandara.  Following are two of my favorite recipes from this book. The first one is a fish shish kabob which I have adapted to my liking, and the second is a very simple chicken recipe that is also great for lunch the next day.

SPEARED SCALLOPS AND SHRIMP (adapted)

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 10 to 15 minutes

Serves:  4

1 pound sea scallops

1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined

8 oz.  package of mushrooms, halved

2 tomatoes

1/3 red onion (or Vidalia onion) – cut in chunks

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into tablespoons

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  1. Prepare a hot fire.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter with lemon juice and garlic. Warm over low heat until butter melts, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. On each of 4 long metal skewers, thread a shrimp, then a vegetable. Repeat alternating between fish and vegetable, ending with a shrimp. Brush each skewer with melted butter mixture.
  4. Place skewers on an oiled grill set 6 inches from coals. Grill, turning once or twice and basting frequently with butter mixture, until shrimp are pink and scallops are opaque throughout, about 8 to 13 minutes.

NOTE: Original recipe does not have tomatoes and red onion.  Other vegetables we have added are zucchini and peppers. The original recipe also has 6 slices of lean bacon, cut in half. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each scallop.

 

QUICK CHICK

Prep: 5 minutes

Marinate: 5 minutes

Cook: 10 to 12 minutes

Serves: 4

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1   .06-ounce envelope Italian salad dressing mix

¼ cup lemon juice

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  1. Prepare a hot fire. Combine olive oil, Italian salad dressing mix, and lemon juice. Add chicken breasts; turn to coat well. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Place chicken on an oiled grill 6 inches from coals. Grill, turning occasionally, for about 10 to 12 minutes, until white throughout but still moist.

Gale Crop 2011 jpegAbout the Author – Gale Spadafora enjoys grilling all year round, but especially in the summer.   She is one of the Broker Owners at RE/MAX Legacy and can be contacted through her website at www.galespadafora.com


Ice dams are all the rage this winter. With the incredible amount of cold and snow we have had this winter we are experiences endless amounts of ice damming on homes. There are countless number of articles and blogs on how to fix these ice dams and to be honest it tempting for the DIYer in you!  However, fixing an ice dam is a TWO PERSON job!  Hopefully, you will learn from my experience and always remember to put safety first!

 

antnew1Anthony Giglio is a Realtor and one of the broker/owners of RE/MAX Legacy. His clients enjoy working with him because of his easy going approach. You can contact him directly on his website www.myhomeMA.com or read his blog at www.mytownline.com


survivinwinterRemember when winter use to bring a couple of insignificant snow storms?  Not this year!  Snow is falling at a rate of two feet at a time.

With five major storms in as many weeks, spring cannot come soon enough. In fact, it is hard to believe that spring will come at all.  Now as the days are getting longer, there is hope that soon this winter will be just a memory.

 

Meanwhile, we have to try to make the best of this awful time in our lives.   So here are a few suggestions to help you get through the next couple of months:

  • If you can plan a getaway to a warmer climate go! Aruba, Mexico, or the Virgin Islands are great destinations. Also, Florida is just three hours away and has great beaches and family fun attractions.
  • If you are a snow lover a ski weekend to Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine could be a lot of fun. There is a lot of snow on the slopes so this could be a ski lover’s dream year.
  • If your budget is a little tight, consider all the fun things you can do close to home. Movies, museums, concerts, or sporting events are all available & loads of fun.

Even though it seems like summer will never come again eventually this crazy winter will end.  Also, please remember that as bad as it has been it could always be worst!

sharonAbout the author:  Sharon Potts is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy, who is looking forward to the warmer months! She can be contacted directly through her website at www.spotts.remax-newengland.com

 


Category: Seasonal, Winter

I love the fall! It is my favorite time of the year.  I love the cooler weather, watching the leaves dogblogturn colors, going to craft fairs, & football season. (Go Pats!)  I also love apple & pumpkin picking. In fact, apple crisp & pumpkin raisin bread are my favorite seasonal treats. I always look forward to this time of year for all of these reasons.

Fall is also when we start to prepare for the holiday season. With only 92 days left to shop, Christmas Day is just around the corner.

Before you get your pantyhose in a bunch, take a moment to breathe and try to enjoy the days ahead. Here are a few survival tips for the next couple of months:

1)   Start your Christmas shopping early.

Take advantage of the fall sales. Buy early & stash things away.  Many stores offer layaway – so you can buy now, spread out the payments, & pick up right before Christmas.

2)   Do not over extend yourself.  Make a budget & stick to it.

3)   Consider hosting a potluck gathering.This way you do not have to fuss in the kitchen & you can enjoy your guests.

4)   Take a deep breath & try to live in the momentTime passes fast so try to enjoy the good times.

Before you know it we will be ringing in 2015. Make this holiday season your best ever.

sharonAbout the author:  Sharon Potts is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy. She can be contacted directly through her website at www.spotts.remax-newengland.com

 


calanderSeptember First often feels like January First. You flip the calendar from August to September and suddenly it feels like a new year. Gone are the lazy days of summer and suddenly you are propelled into a hectic fall schedule.

If you have school age children, August into September can be dramatic. September is a month of adjusting back to the school schedule. No more sleeping in! Your kids need to adjust to a new teacher, new classmates, and maybe even a new school. And homework again!

If you have college age kids you need to adjust to being empty nesters again. For some parents it’s a relief after a long summer of having to deal with their independent 18-22 year olds to have them gone again. For other parents it is very hard to let them go.

The work schedule often gets busier in the fall. Monthly or weekly meetings that may have been postponed all summer long resume again in September. Many business and volunteer organizations start up again in September, having been slower during the summer months.

Doesn’t it sometimes feel that September First is really the beginning of a New Year?

Gale Crop 2011 jpegAbout the Author – Gale Spadafora’s favorite season is Summer, and every year she dreads the flipping of the calendar to September.  Gale is one of the Broker Owners at RE/MAX Legacy and can be contacted through her website at www.galespadafora.com

 


Category: Autumn, Seasonal

Watching our tomato plants growing since this spring and feels like it has been forever since we saw that first green tomato appear  – and all of a sudden they are all about to ripen at once.

Feeling a little overwhelmed with how many tomatoes we are about to pick  – here are a couple ideas I have found to use them for.

Caprese Salad –  A summer BBQ Favorite! A simple salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, and olive oil.

Grill Them Up – Perfect for a salad or as a summer appetizer!  Just marinate your tomatoes and slightly char them on the grill.

Home Made Salsa – Perfect way to use other stuff from the garden!!  You can serve this right away or jar the salsa and put away to open one winter afternoon – while the snow is falling grab a bag of chips and open the fresh taste of summer!

Make Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – super simple and again serve right away or jar to use all winter long!

Chill out with Homemade Gazpacho – this cold soup is perfect to whip up on a hot summer day!!!

Bruschetta – impress your guest with a homemade Bruschetta to serve as an appetizer.

Lastly one of my summer time favorites is a BLT  – make a good one, with thick, applewood-smoked bacon, sourdough bread, fresh lettuce, mayonnaise and plenty of tomato.

Enjoy all those tomatoes!

SarahAbout the author: Sarah Ferguson is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and loves growing tomaotes. You can contact her directly through her website www.sarahfergusonre.com


 

woburnfun

Woburn is not only a great town to live in, but it is conveniently located. Also it is such a good town to raise your family, with activities all summer long including , pools and parks.

bookworm.jpg

Bookworm Wednesday is back again, what a great way to motivate your kid to read. No efforts and its free. Every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. from July 9th – August 13th

Just bring a book report* with you to the select Bookworm Wednesdays movie and that’s your price of admission!
 Download the Book Report  Also check the Woburn Library for more reading challenges.

 Fun Runs

Fun Runs are just another way to keep your child healthy Join the Recreation center for a .8 Mile race for children up to the age of 12 starts at 6:15 or a 2.5 mile race starts at 6:40 Fun Runs are free of charge. All children who participate will receive a ribbon!!

Meet at the Horn pond parking lots every Thursday from July 10th – August 14th.  It is recommend to get there early it does get crowded sometimes.

 Free Craft Program!

An enjoyable place for children to make fun arts & crafts projects with our instructors. There is a different craft offered each afternoon. You do not need to be registered for this program.

This Program begins on June 25th and runs until August 21
Summer 2013 Schedule
Monday    1:30 – 3:30    Library Park……….
Tuesday   1:30 – 3:30    Green Street Pool
Wednesday 1:30 – 3:30   North Woburn Pool
Thursday 1:30 – 3:30    East Woburn Pool

4 Week Movie Series @ Library Park

There’s no better way to spend a cool summer night in Woburn than enjoying a great movie in the great outdoors. Consider joining us under the stars on Tuesday nights recommended that you arrive a little early so that everyone will be able to get settled before the movie starts. Bring your own snacks/juice and money for ice cream man. Don’t forget your lawn chairs and blankets for the family. For a listing of the movies visit www.woburnrec.com in July

 Family Night & Outdoor Library Park

Sponsored by the Woburn Rotary Club Food will be served starting at 6:00 Children’s Concert: 6:30 – 7:30 Outdoor Movie: 8:15 or 8:30 depends on sunset Other activities include: Moonwalk, Fire Safety House, and other Children’s Games. Also check the Woburn Library for similar activities.

Mayor’s Field Day August 21st

@ Library Park
11:00 – 2:00
Come celebrate the end of the summer with the Recreation Department!!!
There will be many fun – filled activities and events for children such as a dunk tank, moonwalk, magician, face painting, along with great onstage performances. *Rain Date August 22nd

Hope you enjoy living in Woburn and look for more fall activities at the rec center and all the sports activities possible. Have a great summer

JanineAbout the author: Janine Elkhoury is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and a resident of Woburn.  You can learn more about her on her website www.bostonrelocationagent.com