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Sarah Levine's

Sarah Levine Office: 623-934-6200 Cell: 602-359-0896

Dear Friends,

Can you hear it? That crisp crackle of the leaves? The smell of sweet, tangy apples permeates the air and the breeze is taking on a deliciously cool tint. That's right! Fall is finally here! This month in Welcome Home magazine discover the history behind apples. We guarantee that it is much more fascinating and complex than you realize! Want to start hiking so you can enjoy the lovely leaf colors? We have the perfect guide for you! Find something fun to do this fall and enjoy it instead of retreating indoors like usual. Last but not least, find your new favorite fall food. Your taste buds will thank you! This and much, much more awaits you in our pages, so get to reading and make your vacation month the best ever! Please enjoy this issue of the magazine! Have an superior September, and as always, Welcome Home!

If you have comments or suggestions please email us at , we love to hear from you! Also if there is a subject that you would like to see covered, let us know! We look forward to hearing from you!

Sarah Levine

623-934-6200 602-359-0896

Welcome Home! Table of Contents 4

Recipe And Design A tasty recipe and a stylish home design how to.

5 5

Fun Fall Activities



10 - 11

Get up and have some fun before winter set in.

Beginning Hiking - A Guide Discover the thrill of hiking this autumn.

Surviving September

Tips to help you child and family get back to school.

Top Ten Autumn Foods Sweeten and spice up your Fall!

12 - 15 A History Of Apple Trees Where did this delicious fruit originate? Find out here!

16 - 17

Outdoor Furniture Can Take The Fall Keep your house pretty all year long!

118 - 19 Products To Love! Hot trends, technological wonders of tomorrow and so much more!

20 City Spotlight Stowe ,VT. Skiing and luxury it’s best.

21 Businesses That Make A Difference Gap, making a difference in so many ways, and not just fashionably!

Welcome Home is for entertainment purposes only. This magazine is not intended to solicit other brokersʼ listings. If you are currently working with another broker, please disregard this information. All pictures courtesy of unless otherwise noted. Thanks to Wikipedia for Random Fact information and aid.

Editor in Chief - Phly Jambor The information provided in this publication of Welcome Home or on any website maintained by U.S. Cybertek, Inc. or any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees (collectively Publisher) is intended as a general guide illustrating common methods of common practices, and the publisher makes no warranty or guarantee whatsoever of the safety, effectiveness, or other characteristic of any methods or products described herein. Neither does the Publisher assume any liability for information published in any website or other publication to which reference may be made herein. Readers are cautioned to review and comply with all written instructions, safety bulletins, and other materials provided in connection with any of the products mentioned herein and all products used in connection with any of the methods described. Neither Published nor any of its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, agents, representatives, licensors, licensees or employees shall in any case be liable to you or anyone else for any loss or injury or any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special punitive or similar damages arising out of your use of or failure to use any of the methods and/ or products described in this publication or any other publication or websites to which reference may be made herein. Publisher disclaims all warranties, and any warranty or guarantee of safety, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose lies solely with the manufacture(s) of any product described or recommended or used used in connection with any methods described or recommended.

Recipe and Design Tin Can Luminaries

Quick Apple Dumplings

Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

1 1/2 cups sugar 2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided 1/4 cup butter or margarine 2/3 cup sugar 2 (15-ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts 8 medium Braeburn apples, peeled and cored* 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut up Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preparation: 1.

Bring 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 cup butter. Set syrup aside. 2. Combine 2/3 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. 3. Cut pie crusts in half, and roll into 8-inch circles. Place 1 apple in center of each circle. Sprinkle each evenly with sugar mixture; dot evenly with 3 tablespoons butter. 4. Fold dough over apples, pinching to seal. Place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with syrup. 5. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired. *Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples may be substituted.

Southern Living ,SEPTEMBER 2001

These easy-to-make tin lanterns are the perfect accent to scatter around a porch or patio for a charming, folk art touch. What You Need: • • • • • • •

26-ounce tin cans Bottle opener Work Gloves Hammer Sharp Nail Terra Cotta Saucer Votive Candle

Instructions: 1. Remove labels, tops, and bottoms of 26-ounce tin cans. Use an old-fashioned beer can opener to make triangular holes around the perimeter of the top and bottom of each can. Wear work gloves and be careful with sharp edges. 2. With a hammer and sharp nail, carefully punch additional holes in a pattern on the surface of each can. Aim for a simple, stylized pattern. Work with a spare can or two for practice, if desired. 3. Place each can in a terra cotta saucer with a votive candle inside. For a taller, fancier base, hot glue a pair of saucers bottom to bottom.

Courtesy of Better Homes and

5 Fun Fall Activities The fall is my favorite time of year. It's still warm and pleasant most of the time yet the crowds and tourists are gone. It's also harvest season and the beginning of the holidays with Halloween and Thanksgiving nearby. Here are some great activities to do in the fall. 1) Get outside and do some of the things it was too hot to comfortable do in the summer! For example, I start hiking and running in the fall, two activities I do very little of in the summer. My parents resume their nightly walks. My brother in law sits on the back patio and has a beer most nights. Now that it's cooler but still comfortable, take advantage of the weather. This is one of my favorite parts of this season. 2) Have you ever been to a corn maze? They are becoming very popular and fall, after the corn is fully grown, is corn maze time. They are lots of fun for kids and adults and an excellent family activity. You can find corn mazes by asking around and looking on community Web sites and newspapers. I was surprised to find many of them within 20 minutes of my house. 3) Pretend it's still summer and engage in a summer activity, without the crowds. My favorite is going to the beach. They tend to be close to deserted, but still wonderful with water usually at least as warm as during the beginning of summer. What is your favorite summer activity? No reason to give it up yet! 4) Restart your exercise routine. Many of us let go in the summer. For example I stopped going to the gym. With holidays and feasts right around the corner, it's time to get back on your horse and working out! It is also easier now that the usually frantic summer pace has subsided. I know my gym is much busier in the fall than in the summer. It also feels good to start getting back into or staying in shape. 5) Throw a costume party. The summer is too hot for most costumes but fall is just right. It may or may not be for Halloween, but with many people getting costumes together for Halloween, it gives them a chance to use them more than once. My kids usually use their costumes several times each fall for various parties. Fall is a wonderful time of year. I always make the best of it and so should you! Written by Uzi Des. Courtesy of


Hiking over mountains and trekking through thick forests may seem to be a tough and demanding sort of activity, but in fact all it takes is a good fitness level, some basic equipment and a sound understanding of a few key concepts. The key for those new to hiking, as with most other learning experiences, is to take things slowly.

So where should you start? An excellent idea to begin with would be to find a suitable location in your local area in which to practice; a park or an area of the nearest suburbs for example. By staying local to residential areas you are ensuring the terrain remains reasonably tame and that you are never too far from help if something should go wrong. Walking in a group with experienced hikers is always a good idea; it increases your own safety and that of the other members of the group and also allows you to ask questions if you are unsure about anything or would just like some extra guidance. Anticipating weather conditions and equipping yourself accordingly is another important element of hiking and although you should only consider hiking in good conditions to begin with, it is still crucial that you remember to pack equipment and clothing for any outcome. Clothing is another element of paramount importance to a good hiker, with footwear being the most crucial attire of all. However, expensive hiking boots are by no means imperative; any footwear that is consistently comfortable and durable will be suitable for most hikes. It is vital, however, that you test a range of products and choose something most suitable to your own preferences. You should never wear a new pair of boots or shoes straight out of the box on a hike, instead wearing them for a few days in advance to allow yourself to properly adjust to them and ensuring that they are 'broken in' and will remain comfortable for the duration of the hike. As with footwear, the rest of your clothing should be chosen primarily for the sake of comfort. Ideally, you should be wearing reasonably loose fitting clothes; they should not restrict your movement in any way, but should not be so lose as to become a hindrance. Weather conditions on your planned hike must also be taken into account and clothing that will maintain a constant and comfortable body temperature should be worn, with layering being the key here. Having chosen clothing to begin the hike in, you must also ensure you pack spares in case of changes in weather conditions; you should also never leave without a few extra pairs of socks! Finally, there are a few items of basic equipment with which new hikers should familiarize themselves. The most important and potentially lifesaving of these are a good quality topographic map and compass. The ability to find your bearing and read a map accurately is the by far the most important skill for hikers. Other equipment to consider ranges from basics, such as sun lotion and sunglasses, through to potentially important items such as a first aid kit and water purifying tablets.

Written by SImply Hike. Courtesy of

Surviving September: Tips to Help your Child and Family Get Back to School

It is that special time of year again. A time of new beginnings as we close another summer chapter and start a brand new school year. Summer can be a magical time for children. It is a time for many to relax schedules, play, soak in some sunshine, grow, and most importantly... rest. The fall is an exciting time filled with anticipation for a healthy and productive school year. It can also present many challenges for families as they attempt to adjust to a more demanding schedule and meet the needs of everyone in the household. Here are some ideas: Talk to your child. This helps them to process their feelings about what they have experienced and what they are looking forward to in their world. -Remember all of the fun activities from summer. Often times, talking about recent experiences helps them to look forward to and transition into new ones (encourages an understanding of time and change). -What is your favorite thing about school? Why? -Who are your friends? What do you like to do at recess? -What do you think of your class this year? Classroom? Teacher?

-Do a timeline of his/her day. What did you do before lunch? After lunch? After school? Prepare physically for the demands of school. -Set a good daily routine. Help your child develop an awareness of schedules and why they are important. This helps children transition to new tasks and provides structure and security in their world. -Set a bedtime routine and stick to it. Kids thrive when they are well rested. They are better able to attend and focus in class, stay healthier, and are generally happier during the day. (9-12 hours of sleep a night is optimal for growing children). -Provide healthy snacks and meals and try to have a set mealtime for the family. -Include appropriate grooming (bathing, oral hygiene, washing hands) habits in your routine as well. Back to SCHOOL. An applied learning activity helps children to recall what they already know and build upon it. It also fosters a sense of achievement and confidence when learning new things. Help your child see him/her self as a learner. -Try to read every day with your child. Take turns reading a favorite book. Ask him/her questions about what is being read. Look at pictures and talk about what is happening in the picture (try to guess what will happen next). -Talk about the weather (science and nature). What will the weather be like today? In a month? In two months? What will be happening outside? Fall is a very exciting time to explore and learn about the changing seasons. -When you are in your neighborhood, talk about signs you see, identify familiar things such as objects, street signs, and neighbors. When walking or driving home, let your child direct you.. "Which way do we turn next?" -While at the grocery store, read the signs on the rows, read labels, read everything! Talk about grouping and why products are where they are and not somewhere else in the store. This helps children to build an awareness of order and ultimately supports problem solving in different situations. -Go on everyday math and science adventures! Talk about numbers and use different objects around the house to count, add, multiply and divide. Ask questions like: How many more will make 10? If I eat 5 how many will be left? When cutting a pie, talk about fractions and percentages. When cooking, read and follow recipe directions, talk

about measurement, and the science of cooking and baking. What makes things freeze? What is a solid? What is a liquid? -Build a calendar with your child! Kids LOVE visual stimuli and it will also help you to keep track of special events and activities. Pull out the school year calendar and write in all of the half days, holidays, and special events. You can even include what lunch is served at school each day. Use your imagination and have fun with the activity! It helps with counting, days of the week, and months of the year. They will take pride in marking off days of the week and have a way to look forward to special occasions. It also helps them to process what has happened in their world and prepare for what is next. Meet the needs of your entire family. Your children are not the only ones who are experiencing a life change. A new school year can bring about added stress with changes in schedules and demands that your whole family must adjust to. -Plan an activity for the entire family to look forward to on an evening or weekend. The fun does not have to be over just because summer has come to an end. -Make sure you know the schedules of other family members. Everyone seems to have lots things to do. Add these activities to your calendar. -Set a time (and place) for your family to be together each day (ex. mealtime) so you can connect with each other about things that are important. -Everyone get your rest and do your best to make healthy choices. Many warm wishes for a healthy and productive September and school year!

Written by Tracy Webb-Olson. Courtesy of

Top Ten Autumn Foods Spice Up Your Fall!

The surroundings are getting wintry, and you can find paler, dry leaves covering up the roads and gardens - autumn has set in and with it the whole environment has turned a bit gloomy. However, autumn also offers a treat for your taste buds as a vast variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits fill up the stores. Furthermore, a little bit of food indulgence is just what you need to beat the autumn blues and pep up your mood. Treat yourself to the deep, dark colored vegetables and juicy fruits rich in nutrients and phytochemicals that will not only delight your senses but will also build your defense and prepare you for the cold season. Here's a list of a few of the best Autumn Comfort Foods * Apples - Apples contain flavonoids, which are one of the most amazing antioxidants available in food form. From reducing the risk of health conditions to preventing cancer, apples have many health benefits. There are two reasons why they're great choice, specially in the autumn season - first they have powerful anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic properties that will deal with the common infections and allergies that appear in the autumn season; and secondly, they're superb for your skin and can help your look and feel younger. Have them with your breakfast, or as a mid-day snack, and you can truly keep the doctor away!

* Cranberries - Cranberries are delicious, juicy and absolutely healthy fruit widely attainable in the autumn season. They are low in calories and are packed with Anthocyanins, heart-healthy antioxidants. Cranberries also play an essential role in curing gum conditions, mouth ad stomach ulcers, urinary tract infections and many forms of cancer. You can come across fresh cranberries from September through December, but most of it is used for cranberry juices and sauce. * Pumpkin - Pumpkins are surely another essential autumn comfort food, for they're loaded with beta-carotene, antioxidants, Vitamin C and Folate. Even the seeds are packed with nutrition and are a rich source of Zinc and Omega 3 fatty acids. The air gets very dry in autumn, which can damage your skin and make it look dull and chapped. Making pumpkin a part of your diet, can keep your skin moisturized, supple and free from infections. * Garlic - Garlic surely is nature's own medicine. It contains Allicin, a chemical that is highly effective against viruses, fungi and bacteria. Internal consumption of garlic can reduce the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and prevent cancer. As for the autumn blues, consuming garlic can drastically improve your mood too. * Ginger - Ginger has a lot of natural heat, which is what makes it a great autumn comfort food. Whether you prefer ginger tea, or ginger pickle or just plain julienned ginger with honey, the advantages of this root are many. It can heal cough, cold and throat congestion, provide relief from digestive problems and soothe your stomach, fight nausea and even work wonders in driving away the allergies. According to recent researches, ginger works as an organic antiinflammatory agent and is quite good for musculoskeletal illnesses. * Parsnips - Parsnip is a root vegetable that belongs to the family of carrots. They are a rich source of Fibre, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. These are abundant in colder areas, and are primarily a winter vegetable. You can either steam and cook them with different vegetables or you can eat them raw, for their sweet and delicate flavor. * Kale - Kale is a dark, green leafy vegetable most commonly available in the autumn season. Kale works as an immunity enhancer (essential in autumn), clears lung congestion, wards off the infections and allergies. It is particularly beneficial for liver and stomach infections. Kale is full of iron, beta carotene, calcium, Vitamin C and potassium, and is a must add in your list of autumn comfort foods. * Sweet potato - Aside from the fact that sweet potatoes are widely available in autumn and taste excellent, they are also a storehouse of health benefits. These yummy delights contain high amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A), so you can easily ward off cold and other infections. Sweet potatoes are a great food choice for diabetics, as they are low glycemic food. The high amount of dietary fiber present in sweet potato promotes a healthy digestive tract and relieves constipation. For better flavor, eat these hot. * Cinnamon - It is one of the oldest known spices, and a perfect choice for autumn. Cinnamon is often used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for curing cough, cold, nausea, flatulence, diabetes, diarrhea and numerous other physical ailments. It can calm your senses and keep your body warm and comfortable in the cold season. Cinnamon is also believed to improve energy and vitality, and is specially useful for people who have cold feet but warm upper bodies. You can sprinkle cinnamon powder over side-dishes and salads, drink it with tea or mix it with juices. * Pepper - One more group of herbs, which are good for your taste buds also as your health, are different forms of pepper. Including pepper to your food can help you in various ways - it reduces flatulence, improves digestion, treats gastrointestinal disorders, kills viruses and bacteria, clears chest congestion, treats cough and cold, and so on. It's also a rich source of antioxidants. Whichever form of pepper you prefer - cayenne, black or white, they're all a great and healthy addition to your recipes especially during autumn. Autumn signifies the beginning of the cold season, which is why a lot of people suffer from bouts of cold and cough and different types of allergies. Your skin will also feel extremely dry and lifeless, and will be more susceptible to fungal infections and bacterial. Various autumn foods mentioned above are warming in nature, and work toward preventing the common infections and allergies associated with this season. These fruits, vegetables and spices will enhance your immune system and keep you comfortable and warm, so you are ready for the cold days. Written by Mary Dezfoli. Courtesy of,

A History of Apple Trees

Apple trees were the most popularly grown fruit tree in colonial America and practically every settlement farm and backyard gardener planted this easily grown fruit tree, or easier, the seed of the apple could be planted to establish a permanent food supply. Growing these apple tree products could be eaten fresh or could be dried and preserved in many different ways to eat at a later time. Historical instances on the existence of apple trees are documented from folklore, legends, stone images on carved tablets, petrified slices of apples on plates for tomb offerings, and overwhelming numbers of references from Hebrew Bible scriptures and innumerable writings from poetry, songs, literary publications, and many other surviving accounts of all civilizations in the ancient world. One of the earliest archeological evidences of apple tree fruit comes from the remains of excavations from Jericho, Jordan, that has been dated 6500 BC by radiochemical analysis of carbon atoms.

The petrified remains of apple slices that were found in a saucer of an ancient Mesopotamian tomb, the burial site of royalty dates back to 2500 BC and was uncovered in southern Iran. In the ancient historical accounts of the fruit of the apple tree, there appears to be an incomprehensible trail of evidence that no other fruit could match. The interest shown in apples by the Greek and Roman philosophers, poets, historians, and literary masters was even extended to Renaissance painters, royal chefs to the Tsars of Russia and too many other references to mention. In colonial America, apple trees were grown and planted from seeds in orchards by William Blackstone at Boston, Massachusetts in the 1600's. Early documents on file at the National Library in Washington, DC suggest that all land owners in Massachusetts had begun growing apple trees by the 1640's. William Bartram, the famous explorer and botanist, wrote in his book, Travels, "I observed, in a very thriving condition, two or three large apple trees" in 1773, while traveling near Mobile, Alabama. It is important to realize that these large apple trees found growing in Alabama in 1773 could very easily have been grown from the seed planted by Creek Indians. Those seed may have been obtained by the Indians from American colonists on the Eastern coast of the United States at a much earlier time or from French farmers who settles in areas of agricultural land grants north of Mobile. General Oglethorpe planned in 1733 to plant "various plants, subtropical and temperate, which might prove valuable for Georgian farms and orchards," according to William Bartram in his book Travels, published 40 years later. William Bartram's father, John Bartram, trip to "East Florida" (Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas) was, in part at least, an attempt to inventory the plant resources of England's new acquisition—after expelling the Spanish from East Florida. Many modern botanists believe that the improved apple that we know today descended from the crabapple that is commonly interplanted with apple trees for cross pollination. Old documents record that fact "cultivated apples descended from crab-tree or wild apple-Pyrus malus." Wild crabapple tree seeds appeared on the list of collected seeds in the Plant List of 1783 of William Bartram and his father, John Bartram. In William Bartram's book, Travels in 1773, he "observed amongst them (fruit trees) the wild crab (Pyrus coronaria) in his explorations near Mobile, Alabama. Robert Prince established the first operating nursery in the American colonies at Flushing, New York, in the 1700's, where he offered apple trees for sale at his nursery that was

visited by General George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson was planting and growing apple trees at his fruit tree orchard in Monticello, Virginia, in the early 1800's. The legendary Johnny Appleseed was responsible for the rapid development of the apple trees growing and planting when he established a nursery in the Midwest that sold both apple trees and seed to be planted for growing into trees in the 1800's. Over 2000 cultivars of apple trees are listed as being grown today, many of the trees resulting from the huge apple seed dispersion that was begun by the memorable ambition of Johnny Appleseed to entirely cover the landscape of America with the fruit of apple trees. Over the centuries, apple trees became susceptible to many disease problems such as fire blight; however, Dr. C.S. Crandall from the University of Illinois performed several backcrosses that involved modern cultivars and the apple tree ancestor Ęťcrabapple,' Malus floribunda. The wild crabapple contained an immunity factor within its genetic composition towards all major bacterial and fungal diseases of apple trees. In 1989, researchers from the pomology department at Cornell University extracted an immune fire blight gene from a nocturnal moth and transplanted it into an apple fruit, resulting in the total defeat of fire blight in that particular apple tree cultivar. Fruiting of apple trees is perhaps the most troublesome characteristic experienced by an orchardist or a backyard fruit tree gardener. Most cultivars of apple trees require cross pollination of two separate varieties in order to set fruit on the tree. It is necessary that the blossoms of the two apple tree flowers develop pollen at the same time, in order that fruit will be set, which can be a tricky problem to correct. The simplest solution to pollinate apple trees is to use the ancestor of the modern day apple cultivars, the crabapple, which sheds its pollen over a long period of time and easily overlaps the apple tree cultivar flowering period. Crabapple trees produce a fruit that is much smaller than the common apple, but it can be used in cooking in various ways, and it is loved by wildlife in the fall and winter when wildlife food is scarce for animals and birds. Crabapple trees are also valuable when used as flowering trees that begin blooming in early spring with huge clusters of pink, white, and even red blossoms. Several outstanding grafted flowering tree selections are available, such as: Brandywine, Red Perfection, Radiant, and Spring Snow.

Apple trees are easy to grow, and if a gardener purchases a large tree, he may experience fruit development even on the first year of planting and growing. The selection of the proper cultivar of grafted apple trees is extremely important, because even though the apple fruit can be grown in most areas of the United States, the trees require different amounts of chilling temperatures in order to flower. The interesting introduction of low chill cultivars from Israel makes it possible to experience apple growing and planting as far south as Florida. Certain popularly grown cultivars of apple trees in the United States today are: Arkansas Black, Gala, Granny Smith, Red Rome, Anna, Red Fuji, Yates, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Anna, Ein Shemer, and Golden Dorsett. Apples contain some mysterious quality that can preserve it from deterioration for centuries. Apple slices can be dried and kept delicious for long periods of time. This mysterious characteristic may be recognized by man's association of paradise being connected and related to Eve and Adam picking apples from a fruit tree growing in paradise for their eternal pleasure, that was planted by God and described as the tree of life at the fabled Garden of Eden. We see this fruit of paradise recurs in the history of many other ancient civilizations. A similar account that we read as children in the book of Genesis from the scriptures in the Hebrew Bible. Perhaps this mysterious genetic quality of apples in preservation makes it so important as providing medical benefits backed up by that memorable proverb, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Experiments from researchers in California have shown that apple fruit is very rich in antioxidants, a biological compound that combats, stroke, heart disease, and many other health problems. Written by Pat Malcolm. Courtesy of,

DYI Home Improvement

Outdoor Furniture Can Take The Fall As summer gasps its last, we are noticing many changes. Although they start stealthily and subtly, they will soon seem sudden and stark (as in, "geez, it's only 6:30, and already, it's dark!").  With the leaves, and the temperatures, dropping, some people are beginning to retreat to the indoors; but that's a terrible waste.  This is one of the most beautiful periods of the year, and there's no cause to hide inside, as, even in colder regions, there's still plenty of time for outdoor living.  That means that there's no need to rush outdoor furniture into storage, either. No matter what it's made from, it can easily take the fall weather.  So, just leave those porch chairs and outdoor sofas where they are, and sit back, relax, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.  While you're at it, you'll find the inspiration for some spectacular outdoor décor in the kaleidoscope of autumn's colors, and the materials for creating it in its many fruits, flowers, and vegetables.

DYI Home Improvement

Chief among these, obviously, is the pumpkin, which has long been the reigning symbol of the season. Its uses are myriad, and extend well beyond its role as a jack-o-lantern.  That's one of many Halloween decorations, anyway, which are completely different from fall adornments.  Indeed, the latter are natural, and can include nearly anything that is now growing wild. Some of the most popular of these, besides pumpkins, are leaves, twigs, vines, corn stalks, hay bales, berries, acorns, and fall flowers, especially mums.  They can be used separately, or combined, in countless ways, to create any kind of display, focal point, or accent piece, from whimsical, to elegant.  Of course, since pumpkins can be incorporated into any ornamental piece, you can't have too many of them.  Luckily, at this time of the year, there are more than enough of them for everyone.  You'll find them at farmers' markets, supermarkets, and hundreds of pumpkin patches, where you can pick them fresh In fact, choosing your pumpkins is as much fun as using them.  Make a day of it, and go on an outing, visiting roadside stands, nurseries, and farms.  Get a whole bunch of them, in all sizes, along with cornstalks, bales of hay, straw, Indian corn, and the many other types of gourds that are available.  Place pumpkins along your porch railings and steps, and use them with leaves, twigs, acorns, and berries, to make centerpieces for your outdoor dining tables.  You can even use smaller pumpkins to make candle holders.  Stack up some hay bales and pumpkins around outdoor lampposts, and put fall wreaths and Indian corn on your front door. The possibilities for making fall decorations are endless, so get out there and celebrate this magnificent, yet fleeting, season.  Deck out your porch, patio, and gazebo, and have some fun outdoor get-togethers.  To make things even more festive, dress up your porch swings, gliders, and Adirondack chairs with some outdoor furniture cushions and throw pillows that feature gold, crimson, burgundy, yellow, russet, and brown. Written by Hazel Jennings. Courtesy of

Products To Love In September


Of all the fall fashions I love the most, the beanie is the one that steals my heart! In this snowboarder chickʼs opinion, there is nothing hotter than a dude, who knows wheat heʼs doing on a snowboard, rocking a Burton beanie. The Sabbatical Beanie from Burton combines the best features of a beanie and a ball cap for a super cute fall style. Made from 100% Acrylic, this solid color ribbed Brim Beanie with a Skully Fit is sure to turn some heads. Please click here for more information.





Reviewed by Rural Jungle Testing

Gerber’s 31-000701 ultimate kit is a survival kit for hostile environments. Stick the ultimate kit in your backpack and hope you never have to use it. If you do, it has everything you will need to survive in even the toughest spots. This fifteen piece kit features a Gerber miniature multi-tool with needle nose pliers, wire cutters, fine edge knife, serrated knife, Phillips screwdriver, small flat driver, medium flat driver, lanyard ring, bottle opener, and tweezers. It comes in a water proof bag with miniature lights, hand saw, signaling mirror, survival blanket, fire starter, waterproof matches, cotton ball, fire tinder, snare wire, emergency cord, waxed thread, fishing kit, and sewing kit. It includes a lightweight, ripstop nylon bag with waterproof zipper, land to air rescue and SOS instructions, and the Priorities of Survival pocket guide containing Bear's survival essentials. Please click here for more information.

Who is your favorite all-time player? John Elway? Dan Marino? Peyton Manning? Whoever it may be, start your career to be just like them with this Wilson NFL MVP football. This is high quality athletic equipment that makes practice better and puts other balls to shame. Grip and throw. Please click here for more information.

Products To Love In September Tired of unstylish and boring backpacks? Have a look at this! The David King & Co Large Distressed Leather Laptop Messenger is perfect for all your carrying needs and most certainly not frumpy. Features include: padded laptop section fits a 16" laptop, two buttoned pockets and one zip pocket under the flap, main compartment contains a center zip pocket. pen loops, card holder and other organizer pockets also reside in the main pocket, Thick canvas and distressed-leather shoulder strap. Everything you need in one neat, not to mention stylish, grab and go bag! Please click here for more information.

Escape the day's stress with this rustic looking 3 - person Lakeland Mills Cedar Glider! At home or at the cabin, when it's time to take time out, do it right! Lakeland Mills Cedar Furniture is not only beautiful, but its contoured design makes for a comfortable, supportive seat. Whether you're spending some time with that special someone or just enjoying some "me" time, you'll appreciate every stressreducing moment you spend on this rustic white cedar Glider. Please click here for more information.

The Mixed Apple Medley is a symphony of color and flavor, together in a signature watercolor gift box. Designed with variety in mind, the Mixed Apple Medley showcases the humble apple and all the distinct flavors it brings to the table. Whether you're looking for something sweet or something with a bit of a bite, the Mixed Apple Medley will sure to have your taste buds dancing. Please click here for more information.

City Spotlight

Asheville, NC Asheville North Carolina, is just waiting for people to come by and take a look. Once they do, they make plans to stay for the summer and sometimes the fall! With their green, green grass, evenly paved streets, and a sky second to none to wake up to and enjoy, it's no wonder people are flocking to this highly visited city in North Carolina.

look out over the terrain to watch rabbits and deer go by. Take a refreshing morning walk around the grounds to enjoy the tall trees and water falls nestled beside the great mountains. These are pet-friendly, family oriented, scenestealing Asheville vacation rentals, that anyone with a heart can enjoy.

There are so many things to do once the car is turned off. There is the White Squirrel festival, the Mountain Forest festival, the Asheville Burlesque & Sideshow festival, the Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music festival, the River Districts Artist Studio Stroll, and much, much more. There, you can enjoy and participate in artistic expression from around the world. From the food, to the company, to the magnificent atmosphere, Asheville has everything that a person on vacation would enjoy.

Check into Asheville vacation rentals for a new experience. Sleep with the air flowing through the windows like a song waiting to join in. Enjoy the comfort of being up high at a mountain retreat, or on a great patch of land in a comfortable house. Have the choice to stay at a chalet, a tree house, or even a bear lodge. Enjoy a city view, or stay in the valley. Either way, there's nothing like vacationing in an Asheville cabins.

Take advantage of the sights in and around Asheville. Then, when it's time to rest, check into the Asheville NC cabins. From the breakfast, to the swimming hole; from fishing to campfires. Asheville cabins boast great views, good service, and the best in accommodations. The scenery isn't half bad either! Wake up in the morning and

Don't forget to tell friends what a wonderful time that can be had in Asheville North Carolina. And by all means, don't forget to mention how inviting and pleasing an experience it is to stay in Asheville NC cabins. From day one, it will be an experience that can't be matched. After all, it's North Carolina - the memories are unforgettable. Written by Cynthia Jones, courtesy of

Businesses That Make A Difference

At Gap Inc., social responsibility is fundamental to how we do business.

There, you'll find up-do-date information about our programs and activities in four key areas (supply

It means everything from ensuring that workers are treated fairly to addressing our environmental impact.

And it's now covered in depth on our new social responsibility website at What are we doing to be a responsible company? We're working around the world to improve factory conditions and help women advance. We're designing more sustainable stores and products, and getting creative about protecting natural resources. We're continuing to

make Gap Inc. a company where people are proud to work and able to reach their career goals. We're investing in communities by applying business innovation to social challenges. We've created a new social responsibility site. We've shifted from a printed report to a website – it's more informative, timely, interactive and environmentally friendly. 

chain, environment, employees and community investment), including videos, stories, detailed data, and a world map highlighting our work; there's even a section on the social and environmental initiatives of our individual brands: Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime and Athleta. Check out to find out more.

Random Facts

This month's random fact peeps into one of America's beloved heralds of Autumn: The changing of the leaves!

Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the normally green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, one or many colors that range from red to yellow. The phenomenon is commonly called fall colors and autumn colors, while the expression fall foliage usually connotes the viewing of a tree or forest whose leaves have undergone the change. In some areas of Canada and the United States, "leaf peeping" tourism is a major contribution to economic activity. This tourist activity occurs between the beginning of color changes and the onset of leaf fall.

A green leaf is green because of the presence of a pigment known as chlorophyll, which is inside an organelle called chloroplast. When they are abundant in the leaf's cells, as they are during the growing season, the chlorophylls' green color dominates and masks out the colors of any other pigments that may be present in the leaf. Thus the leaves of summer are characteristically green. In late summer, as daylight hours shorten and temperatures cool, the veins that carry fluids into and out of the leaf are gradually closed off as a layer of special cork cells forms at the base of each leaf. As this cork layer develops, water and mineral intake into the leaf is reduced, slowly at first, and then more rapidly. It is during this time that the chlorophyll begins to decrease.

Although some autumn coloration occurs wherever deciduous trees are found, the most brightly colored autumn foliage is found in four or five regions of the world: most of southern mainland Canada; Most of the eastern part of the United States as well as smaller areas of forest further west; Scandinavia, Northern, and Western Europe north of the Alps; the Caucasus region near the Black Sea, Russia and Eastern Asia, including much of northern and eastern China, as well as Korea, and Japan.

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