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Wild Acres World Wild Acres Lakes Property and Homeowners Association

Vol. 29 No. 6

January/February 2014

Manager’s Message

By Robert J. De Paolis, CMCA Director of Operations First, let me start off by wishing everyone in Wild Acres Lakes a Happy New Year! On Monday November 25, 2013, I successfully completed my test for Certified Manager of Community Associations training. I am now certified with the Community Association Manager’s International Certification Board. This training has provided me with valuable tools and resources that along with the suggestions and concerns from the community will enable me to serve as your Director of Operations in the highest capacity. Winter is upon us. Our Maintenance Department has outfitted their trucks with spreaders and plows. During the recent snowfalls, they have worked around the clock to keep the roads clear. Public Safety will be watching to make sure speeds are kept under the speed limit to ensure that the roads are safe for everyone. Our garbage dumpster at the maintenance yard has been received well by the community. As of December 5, 2013, we have sold many ticket books and have already had to have the dumpster emptied twice. It is invaluable for part-time residents to be able to have a place to bring garbage bags on their way out of the community. Full time residents can take advantage of the dumpster as well. Depending on how much garbage you generate, it can be a cheaper option than having your garbage picked up by a carting company. With all signs pointing toward a beautiful 2014 at Wild Acres Lakes, I look forward to working with everyone to make this the best community in the Poconos!

2014-2015 Dues Reminder

It’s that time of the year again and here is a friendly reminder that we will be mailing out the 20142015 dues invoices in mid February. Invoices are payable to WALPOA and due by May 1 of every year. If you do not receive your invoice by mid March, please contact the Administration office at 570828-7511 to let us know, and we will mail a new one. Please note that along with your annual dues invoice will be a Member Registration form that we are requiring all homeowners to complete. We need to make sure that all of your current contact information is up to date in our system. This is especially important for your mailing address and phone numbers, including any emergency contact phone numbers. After Sandy we had a difficult time getting ahold of homeowners who are not full time to report damage to their homes and properties.

Being Transparent

By Myron Cowher, Secretary Members, Posted on the Wild Acres official website are the findings of the forensic audit that was performed in 2010. The audit became necessary when the Board of Directors at this time came across information that our funds were being misused. This report has been kept out of the public eye for various reasons, primarily to misrepresent the findings by former and a few current Board members. They have stated the cost outweighed the findings, and that it cost us $25,000. Forensic audits are not cheap, but this audit in reality cost us $16,000. Now you ask how this will help stop the abuse in the future. To start, our current Treasurer and Vice President will verify purchases that are made by comparing documentations, i.e. invoices and/or receipts before signing off on each and every check. Previous check signers and Board Members should have been verifying that there was proper documentation of each purchase. If so, it would have stopped approximately 90% of all misused funds. Please take time out as a community member to read this audit, decide for your self. If you have any concerns in regards to the audit, please feel free to ask questions. We will do our best to get back to you with an immediate response.

WALPOA R.R. 1, Box 500 Dingmans Ferry PA 18328

Stroudsburg, PA 18360 PERMIT NO. 439

PAID

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE


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Wild Acres World

January/February 2014

Friendly Winter Reminder

As winter approaches, please make sure all basketball hoops are removed from the side of the road along with anything else that may obstruct the roadway during time of snow removal. Parking your vehicles on the side of the road is prohibited. This impedes Maintenance from properly plowing the roadways and may result in damage to your vehicle and /or a written citation. WALPOA is not responsible for any damage occurring to your personal property left on the side of the roadways.

Planning to Rent Your Home? (On your own or through a Realtor)

If so, please stop by the Administration Office to fill out the proper forms. This information not only assists us in identifying non-property owners on your property, it also protects you against unlawful use of or entry to your home in your absence. These forms help save us, you and your renters unnecessary embarrassment, frustration and the conducting of unlawful acts within our community. THINKING OF SELLING REAL ESTATE? We’re looking for Realtors like you to sell “your” community! ✔ Free In-House Training ✔ Learn To Sell On-Line ✔ New Licensees Welcome Call Thomas R. Wilkins, CEO twilkins@wilkins1.com

(570) 421-8950

LANDLORDS Let us manage your rental! SINGLE FAMILY HOMES CONDOS • TOWNHOMES ✔ We’ll Collect The Rent ✔ We’ll Handle Maint.–Repairs ✔ We’ll Handle Tenant Calls ✔ Affordable Fees Patricia Blank Toombs VP Vacation Rental Dept. patriciab@wilkins1.com (570) 421-5409

Wild Acres World The official publication of the Wild Acres Lakes Property Owners Association Published six times a year by

Community Newspaper Publishers 237 Phyllis Court, Stroudsburg PA 18360 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION: EMAIL: mail@cnpnet.com PHONE: (570) ONLINE: www.cnpnet.com

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The acceptance of advertising in Wild Acres World does not constitute endorsement by the Wild Acres Lakes Property Owners Association, the Board of Directors, the volunteers and staff who help put the paper together, or the publisher. Position of advertisements is not guaranteed. All advertising is subject to acceptance by the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for errors in ads or claims made by advertisers.

Community Corner

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! January 17 Kole Janda January 19 Tom Montague January 28 Jasmine Glaster February 1 Vanessa Danese February 10 Chuck Segar February 16 Victoria Vario February 24 Vincent Danese February 24 Brandon Janda February 24 Kyle Stoughton February 25 Kendall Glaster February 26 Linda Fescine February 27 Pam Riddlehoover

Happy birthday/anniversary to all who will celebrate in January and February!

*Send your birthday and anniversary dates to: admin@wildacreslakes.org

WALPOA Would Like to Welcome Our New Residents

At this time, we would like to welcome all the new residents who have purchased homes in Wild Acres during the 2013 year. We hope that your first few months here have been happy ones and that your move went smoothly. As you continue to live in Wild Acres, please try to get acquainted with your neighbors and Wild Acres staff. Pick up an activity calendar and join in on some of the events that are planned, such as aquacise, dances, bingo and bus trips. Board Meetings are the third Saturday of every month at 10:00am at the Clubhouse and are open to all members in good standing. This is where your voice can be heard. Committee Meetings are announced on the marquee at the front entrance and the activity calendar as well as our website, www.wildacreslakes.org. If you have any suggestions, please stop in the office or take advantage of our drop box, located outside of the Administration Office. Office hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Saturday. Please don’t hesitate to call with any questions or concerns; we are more than happy to help!

Win Your Dues!

2014/2015 Dues Raffle Tickets Only $10 each (Buy 5; get 1 free) Drawing will be held at the May 17, 2014 Board Meeting.

Raffle proceeds go to the Recreation Department. Winner need not be present to win. Grand Prize Value: The BASE amount of 2014/15 dues for one lot NOT including dam assessment. If sales do not exceed the Grand Prize value, all money will be refunded.


January/February 2014

Wild Acres World

Maintenance Report

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By James Kowalski Well, the winter season has begun with three snow and ice events. Both events were maintained with snow plowing and cindering of roadways. All equipment worked well with no damage or repairs to report. Before the two events, maintenance has installed rear safety light on 3 of the 4 vehicles. The maintenance vehicles have been maintained and cleaned as needed. Snow fence and No Sledding or Tubing signs were put up at the clubhouse. This will help keep all our residents safe from harm so please abide them. Repairs have been done on both women’s room toilets, new changing rooms and shower curtains have been installed along with new shower heads. Electrical outlets have also been replaced inside and outside at clubhouse, office and maintenance. The indoor pool heater has been replaced by Strand Pools due to malfunctions. We are currently working on a new shower at the indoor pool and it should be completed before January’s board meeting. Daily maintenance and upkeep of repairs continue in effort to keep our community looking its best! TOYS FOR TOTS — from left: Zachary Reing and Lori DeVoe, Toys for Tots Representatives, and Jill Odynsky, WALPOA office staff

A Big Thank You…

…to all who donated to the Toys for Tots and Food Drive; what an excellent example of your generosity toward our community! All of our generous residents who dropped off all those delicious holiday goodies for our administrative staff as well the public safety staff. We would also like to thank all the local Grocery Stores, Weis Market, Price Chopper, Milford Farms and WalMart who donated gift cards to our food pantry donation box: All gift cards were donated to the Holy Trinity Food Pantry.

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Wild Acres World

January/February 2014

Public Safety Report

Calling In Guests Permanent Guest List

By William Mc Lean

STATISTICS: ALARMS (7) BURGLARY (0) CAR ACCIDENTS (3) CODE VIOLATIONS (12) DOG CALL (7) ILLEGAL HUNTING (3) HARASSMENT (4) MEDICAL (8) NOISE (1) RESIDENT ASSIST (7) THEFT (1) UNLICENSED FISHING (0) CRIMINAL MISCHIEF (4) ROAD OBSTRUCTIONS (2)

WILDLIFE ISSUES (3) CALLS FOR SERVICE (86) CITATIONS (37) DOMESTIC DISPUTES (3) ILLEGAL DUMPING (2) FIRE (1) INCIDENT REPORTS (77) MISSING (1) OVERDOSE (0) FIREWORKS (0) THREATS (0) ILLEGAL RENTING (0) TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS (22) DISTRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR (1)

I want to remind everyone to tell your children, and guests that may be visiting you; to put the Public Safety dispatch number in their cell phones, the number is 828-9700. I ask you all to please drive carefully when it is snowing or when there is any ice accumulation on the roads. The rule that we have been enforcing at the bus stop is; if you are going to drop off your child do so while in a parking spot, there is no other place to drop them off. If you are not comfortable with letting your child walk through the parking lot by themselves, then get out of your car and walk with them to the bus.

Thank you.

Fido’s Message:

Winter is here; please bring me indoors where I belong with my loving family! Just because I have fur does not make me warm. If you’re cold, so am I!

Love, Fido Important Considerations: •

Update Your Contact Information

Have you moved, changed your contact information or any telephone numbers? Please notify the Wild Acres Administration Office in writing of any changes to your member profile. Thank you in advance for keeping your records up to date. •

Important Phone Numbers & Contact Information

Wild Acres Administration Office..................................................570-828-7511 Wild Acres Public Safety (Non-Emergency)..................................570-828-9052 Wild Acres Public Safety (EMERGENCY ONLY)..............................570-828-9700 Wild Acres Website.......................................................www.wildacreslakes.org Wild Acres Email...................................................... admin@wildacreslakes.org Delaware Township Volunteer Ambulance...................................570-828-2345 Delaware Township Fire Department...........................................570-828-2223 Delaware Township Offices...........................................................570-828-2347 Dingmans Ferry Post Office..........................................................570-828-2812 Verizon..........................................................................................800-483-5000 Met-Ed Electric.............................................................................800-545-7741 Penn American Water Company...................................................800-565-7292 Blue Ridge Cable Company...........................................................570-296-8200

Please remember to call in your guests if they are not on your permanent guest list. Doing this will expedite their arrival into the community. Also, please note that if you are in the process of selling your home, add your realtor’s name(s) or the company name to your permanent guest list or call them in each time they want to show your house. This will avoid them being turned away at the gate.

Toy breeds, short-haired dogs, sick or old dogs, and very young puppies should not be kept outside under any circumstances. Pennsylvania law requires that outdoor dogs have access to a proper dog house that is draft-free. Make sure your dog has dry, comfortable bedding to sleep on. Cedar chips and straw are best for keeping the house dry and warm. Change bedding frequently to keep it dry and free from parasites like fleas and ticks. Dogs require clean, fresh water at all times; remember water freezes during winter months change it often. An outdoor dog requires twice the normal food requirement in winter to maintain his body weight. Remember to clean the area around the doghouse of waste; at least twice a week during the winter. Also keep ground clear of snow and ice. Please remember: if you’re cold, so is your pet. Find a safe warm place for them indoors this winter!

Waste-Free Areas Keep Pets Healthy

Reprinted with permission from CAI Newsletter Articles American pet owners collectively spend tens of millions of dollars every year on veterinary care and over-the-counter medicines for their furry loved ones. But what many don’t realize is that many pet illnesses can be avoided by simply keeping the areas that your dog goes clear of pet waste. Dog waste is more than just a smelly and unsightly mess. It’s also a breeding ground for infection. Bacteria, worms and other parasites thrive in the waste until it’s cleaned up or washed into the water supply. Giardia, ringworm, roundworm and E. coli are examples of such inhabitants, all of which are commonly found in dog feces and are easily transferable upon contact. When pets become sick, contagions are often times passed through their deposits into their own yard. The longer infected dog waste stays on the ground, the greater a contamination becomes. And when this waste is not picked up, pets have a high risk of catching the infection over and over again. Roundworm, for example, is one of the most common parasites found in dog waste and it can remain infectious in contaminated soil and water for years. The best thing pet owners can do to help keep their four-legged friends healthy and safe is to pick up after them and to do so in a timely manner. Thank you pet owners for your cooperation in picking up after your dog.


January/February 2014

Wild Acres World

Recreation Report

By Darlene Leiner, Recreation Director Hoping everyone had a safe and Happy New Year! We had a wonderful holiday season! The Halloween party was full of fun with the haunted trail and costume contest. The Holiday Craft Fair was a big success with a variety of different vendors. The children had lots of fun with Santa and cookie decorating at our annual Christmas party. I would like to thank my staff; they make it all possible! The recreation department has lots of fun activities planned and we are looking forward to spring and summer.

Upcoming Meetings & Events Saturday, January 18 10 a.m.- Monthly Board Meeting @ Clubhouse Sunday, February 2 3-9 p.m.- Superbowl Party @ Clubhouse Friday, February 14 Valentine Dance @ Clubhouse Saturday, February 15 10 a.m.- Monthly Board Meeting @ Clubhouse

Super Bowl Party Sunday, February 2, 2014 6pm-10pm

WEEKLY EVENTS

(Kick Off is 6:30pm) $10 entrance fee includes buffet BYOB Kids under 10 eat free - and there will be some special foods for them.

Mondays 9 a.m.- Aquacise @ Indoor Pool Tuesdays 7 p.m.- Adult Cards @ Clubhouse Wednesdays 9 a.m.- Aquacise @ Indoor Pool Fridays 9 a.m.- Aquacise @ Indoor Pool 7 p.m.- Bingo @ Clubhouse Saturdays 7-10 p.m.- Darts @ Clubhouse in Fireside Room

Tickets can be purchased at the Administration Office and will also be available at the door.

Indoor Pool Hours Friday 7-10 pm Saturday 12-9 pm Sunday 12-6 pm

Come Get Your Irish On!

St. Patrick’s Day Dance

Valentine’s Dance Friday, February 14, 2014 7pm-10pm

Friday, March 15, 2014 7pm-10pm $10 per person MUSIC • FOOD LOTS O’ FUN Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, Irish Soda Bread BYOB > PLEASE SIGN UP BY MARCH 8 < Tickets can be purchased at the Administration Office.

$5 entrance fee includes buffet Come out for a fun evening and enjoy yourself with that special someone. Tickets can be purchased at the Administration Office.

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Wild Acres World

January/February 2014

Halloween Party October 26 at the Clubhouse

Annual Craft Fair November 23 at the Clubhouse


January/February 2014

Wild Acres World

Annual Holiday Party December 14 at the Clubhouse

Congratulations to the Winners of our 2013 Holiday Decorating Contest! 1st Place Jennifer and Sean Griffin, 118 Mink Court 2nd Place Emil and Eileen Dellagicoma, 143 High Ridge Road 3rd Place Andrew and Karen Carman, 101 Raspberry Path

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January/February 2014

Do Not Feed Wild Animals

Why? Primarily, because you can create an unnatural dependency on your part for their supply of food. If that is interrupted, they can be in trouble. If it is a bear you can be in trouble. Once a bear learns food is available at a certain location he/she will aggressively pursue it. If it is not at the usual site, they have been documented, having destroyed screened porches trying to find where “their” food is. Encouraging them to eat from your hand (or even close to you) is like playing Russian roulette. You have no way of knowing what noise or scent or action will cause a bear to feel threatened and react violently. Can you or your child out-wrestle 400 pounds of bear with 2” claws? Think about it. Wild animals are just that - wild - and should be observed from a respectable distance.

Wild Acres World

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Ask The Sensei By Sensei Albert Casale

Q. (Bushkill). Dear Sensei my husband and I who are in our forties are going to try again to stick to our New Year resolution on getting healthier. We know how important and beneficial it is, but we keep making excuses. Do other people have this problem too? A. The majority of American adults may know how beneficial a regular exercise routine would be for them, but only 22% are exercising at sufficient levels to impact health or longevity. So the question remains; why aren’t we exercising if we know it’s good for us? NOT ENOUGH TIME --- Try as we may, we can’t really squeeze any more hours into a given day, If we are bent on creating “more time” in order to begin exercising, we’ll never start. Shift your priorities. Reclassify exercise from the bottom of the list to somewhere near the top in order to make fitness a reality. NOT ENOUGH ENERGY --- “Lack of energy” is no excuse. Waiting to have more energy to exercise is a backward means to an end. Increase your physical activity and you’ll build more stamina for your overall lifestyle. NEED MOTIVATION? --- Define what would entice you to be more active. Feeling healthier? Having more energy? More strength? Looking slimmer? More enjoyment for the overall quality of life? Disease prevention? BEST TIME OF DAY TO EXERCISE --- Most morning exercisers tend to stick to their regimen better over the long haul. People who schedule exercise later in the day often find it crowded out by other unexpected demands.

Volunteers are Always Needed Volunteering assists the Association in minimizing paid staff, which in turn helps keep the budget numbers down! Anything you can do will help. Come join in the events and have the opportunity to help your community as well as meet some of your neighbors.

Upcoming Board Meeting Dates

January 18 February 15 March 15 April 19 May 17

All members in good standing may attend meetings and vote; please exercise your right to do so. It is important for the members of Wild Acres to attend the Board of Directors meetings. At the meetings you can find out what is going on in the community, see your elected Board Members, and also have the chance to voice your concerns and suggestions. Attending Committee Meetings is also a good way to get involved in the Community and have your ideas heard.


January/February 2014

Valentine’s Day Find and circle all of the words that are hidden in the grid. The remaining letters spell a popular Valentine’s Day item.

Brain Teasers... to Keep Our Minds Sharp!

(Answers will be in next issue of WAW)

Wild Acres World

Happy New Year 2014

What is as light as a feather, but even the world’s strongest man couldn’t hold it for more than a minute? What’s at the end of a rainbow? A basket contains 5 apples. Do you know how to divide them among 5 kids so that each one has an apple and one apple stays in the basket? A ladder hangs over the side of a ship anchored in a port. The bottom rung touches the water. The distance between rungs is 20 cm and the length of the ladder is 180 cm. The tide is rising at the rate of 15 cm each hour. When will the water reach the seventh rung from the top? ADMIRER BELOVED COUPLE DEAR FLOWERS GIRLFRIEND LOVERS ROMANCE

ADORE BOYFRIEND CRUSH DEVOTION FONDNESS HEARTS PARTNER ROSES

AFFECTION CANDLES CUPID FANCY FOREVER JEWELRY PROPOSAL SENTIMENT

ATTRACTION CANDY DARLING FEBRUARY FRIENDSHIP LIKE RELATIONSHIP SUITOR

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Wild Acres World

January/February 2014

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Recipe Corner Cheesy Bacon Bombs

Total time (start to finish): 45 min Ingredients • 1 can (8 ct.) Grands Flaky layers original biscuits • Cubed mozzarella cheese (one 1” cube per bomb) • 2lbs. of bacon (1 slice per bomb) • Wooden skewers or toothpicks • Canola oil for frying Steps 1. Cube the cheese, and cut each biscuit into fourths. 2. Place one piece of cheese inside a biscuit quarter, and tightly roll it. Wrap each rolled Bomb in a slice of bacon, and secure it with a skewer or toothpick. 3. In a medium-large pot, heat approximately 2” of oil to 350 degrees and fry the Bombs in small batches, maybe one or two at a time. The oil will expand, so stay close. 4. Drain Bombs on a paper towel. Serve warm.

Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring

Ingredients • 2 small tubes of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits • 3 T butter, melted • 1/2 cup pancake syrup • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar • 1/2 t cinnamon Steps 1. Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray. 2. Combine the melted butter and syrup in a small bowl and set aside. 3. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Place about half of the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture on top. 4. Lay the biscuits on the bottom of the pan, overlapping edges (closely together) to form a ring. Top with remaining syrup and sugar mixtures.  5. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 minute in the pan, then invert onto a serving platter and enjoy!

Prep time 20 min total time 45 min Servings: 8 Ingredients • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed • 1 cup diced cooked chicken • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup • 1 can (16.3 oz) Grands Flaky Layers refrigerated biscuits Steps 1. Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, combine vegetables, chicken and soup; mix well. 2. Press each biscuit into 5 1/2-inch round. Place 1 round in each of 8 greased regular-size muffin cups. Firmly press in bottom and up side, forming 3/4-inch rim. Spoon a generous 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each. Pull edges of dough over filling toward center; pleat and pinch dough gently to hold in place. 3. Bake at 375°F 20 to 22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan. Substitute 2 cups of any frozen (thawed) vegetables you have on hand, such as broccoli, corn, peas or green beans, for the mixed vegetable. If your family loves cheese, sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese over each puff about 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.

Be-My-Valentine Pizza

Total time: 30 min. Servings: 2 (double for more than 1 pizza) Ingredients • 1 tube (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust • 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese • 2 slices provolone cheese, cut in half • 1/4 cup pizza sauce • 18 slices pepperoni (CHOICE OF TOPPING) • 1/4 cup chopped onion • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives (CHOICE OF TOPPING) Steps 1. Unroll pizza dough onto a greased baking sheet; flatten dough. With kitchen scissors, cut into a 10-in. heart. (Use dough trimmings to make breadsticks if desired.) 2. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes. 3. Combine the Italian and mozzarella cheeses; set aside. Arrange provolone cheese over crust to within 1/2 in. of edges. 4. Spread with pizza sauce. Layer with the pepperoni, onion, olives and cheese mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Yield: 2 servings

Saltine Toffee (Simple & Amazing)

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Ingredients • Cooking Spray • 35 to 40 Saltine Crackers • 2 sticks (1 cup) Butter • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar • 8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate Chips (about 1 1/3 cups) Steps 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 2. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray and arrange the saltines salt-side down in a single layer. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and boil until it turns a caramel color, a few minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly. 3. Put the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly, watching carefully. Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers. When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife. 4. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one big sheet. Break up into pieces. Store in an airtight container.


January/February 2014

Energy-Saving Tips

Saving energy is always a good idea. It means more dollars in your pocket, it’s good for the environment and saves valuable resources. With the cold weather here, energy costs can become overwhelming. There are many ways to save on energy costs. Some of the tips below will save you more than others and some are more difficult, but they all work. Not all of these tips will be useful to everyone, but you may be able to use one or two of them: 1) The most common tip is to turn down your thermostat and put on a sweater. If you turn your thermostat down just a few degrees you’ll save in fuel costs. One degree lower will cut heating cost by approximately 3%. The use of programmable thermostats will save you even more. Do you have a guest room you’re not using? Turn the thermostat in that room way down. 2) Turn down the temperature on your water heater. Turning it down just 10 degrees will save a surprising amount of energy. Although it’s a little more difficult for some, it’s a good idea to install an insulator blanket on the water heater. 3) If you have baseboard heaters, whether they’re electric or hot water, keep them clean. Vacuum any dirt or dust from the fins so air can pass freely across them. 4) Adjust your ceiling fan so that its rotation is clockwise. A clockwise rotation will direct warm air at the ceiling to be pushed back down to the living space. 5) Keep your refrigerators and freezers full. This holds true even in the summer. It’s less efficient to cool air than it is a liquid or a solid. If there’s a lot of air in your appliance, when you open it you lose all the cold air. A trick is to fill plastic bottles with water and use them to fill the empty spaces. 6) Put clear plastic on the inside of your windows. These kits can be found in most hardware stores. This may be difficult for some as it requires the use of a small ladder in some cases. So if you feel this is too hard for you, skip it. 7) If you use a wood burning stove or fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when not in use. If you plan on using it, have a ‘Chimney Sweep’ clean it at the start of the season and perhaps again during the heating season. Creosote deposits will collect inside the chimney and reduce the air flow which will reduce the efficiency of your stove. Also, and just as important, creosote deposits can ignite and cause a chimney fire. A ‘Chimney Sweep’ will also tell you the condition of your chimney and if it’s safe to use your wood burner.

Wild Acres World

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8) If you use an oil or gas furnace for your main source of heat, the furnace should be serviced at least once a year, usually before the heating season. The amount of money you save in fuel cost may outweigh the cost of the service. If it’s a forced air system, something you can do yourself is change the air filters. Clean air filters make for a more efficient furnace. This also holds true for air conditioning units. 9) Change your light bulbs. Consider using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s). CFL’s produce the same amount of light but use 75% less energy.

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