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Check out the “Elf On A Shelf- Caught On Home Security Camera”
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Elf On A Shelf- Caught On Home Security Camera

Use your home security camera to add extra magic to holiday tradition

Home security cameras are a vital part of any home security system, allowing you to monitor visitors, field security alerts, and identify would-be burglars. Whether you have a smart surveillance camera or a video doorbell, capturing unexpected footage of household antics is a fun bonus. This holiday season, make spirits bright by capturing another kind of unexpected footage — your Elf on the Shelf scooting through the frame, unassisted by human hands (per Santa-mandated rule).

The Elf on the Shelf  has been a beloved holiday tradition since a mother-and-daughter duo penned the childrens book in 2005. Like an advent calendar, the Elf offers a daily festive surprise for kids in the lead-up to Christmas. Here’s how it works: The Elf appears in a new spot in your home every day. By night, the Elf returns to the North Pole and reports on who’s naughty and nice. Touch the Elf, and the magic that fuels the Elf’s nightly missions might be lost.

Kids get a kick out of discovering the Elf at a new post (hiding in an igloo of sugar cubes, cutting snowflakes from the toilet paper roll) come morning. Parents have dreamed up ingenious staging ideas, but it’s time to raise the game. Recreate our footage of the Elf sneaking to his next scene, then show your kids the Elf off his shelf — and caught on camera.

#1 — Mush! Hitching a sled dog ride

Enlist your favorite four-legged assistant, attaching the Elf to their collar or pet coat. Dogs may best cooperate as you get the Elf properly situated, but just about any domestic creature will obliging come running through your security camera’s vision field when you offer a treat.

#2 — The holiday hamper scamper

The Elf may need to find sneakier means of transportation while his human charges are awake. Lodge the Elf in a full basket of laundry, then transport him through the frame. Make sure you get a close-up of Santa’s little helper, though helping around the house may not be his forte.

#3 — Carabiner, crampons, candy cane

So how does a 12-inch-tall elf make it up and down the stairs? With a trusty candy cane grappling hook, of course. Stage this adventurous scene with fishing line, then channel puppet master skills to slowly tug the Elf up and out of view.

#4 — Visions of paratroopers danced in their heads

Like the egg drop science experiment, but without the collateral damage. Tie the Elf to an inverted shopping bag (extra points if it’s holiday-themed) then parachute drop him from the top of the stairs or a tall ladder outside of camera range. Bombs away!

#5 — Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down

A little inter-toy cooperation goes a long way. Lodge the Elf into an action figure tank or Barbie car, then get out the old fishing line again to help the Elf zoom to his next destination. (We can also imagine a roller skating situation with Hot Wheels for skates and chopsticks for hidden support — but let’s take a lesson from the Elf and not get carried away.)
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Summer Fun and Swimming Pool Safety






There is a type of pool for everyone, every space and every purpose. Thanks to advances in construction and more available materials, traditional in-ground pools can take on about any look. Whether you opt to DIY with an above-ground kit or hire a pool company to install an inground style, safety is key.

Unfortunately, this hub of fun family activity can be deadly if left unchecked and unguarded. That’s why it’s important for every owner to educate himself or herself about water safety and maintain a safe pool environment. Furthermore, owners need to ensure family, friends, neighbors, and guests not only know, but follow, pool rules.

According to the American Red Cross, there are a few rules that apply to every pool owner. Continue reading

10 Things To Do On Christmas Eve

  1. Reflect–     Take time to see things from the side of the road. Between the kids, grandkids, shopping, cooking, traveling, cleaning, the job, the commercialism….sit down. Breathe. Consider what you have, what you have lived, what you have been given.  99% of the emphasis for Christmas has nothing to do with Christmas.
  2. Track SantaSanta Tracker   Official NORAD Santa   Santa Update
  3. Go Caroling– Have a blast singing in and around your local neighborhoods thru your local church or organization.
  4. Leave Christmas Cards & a Gift Anonymously. If you know of someone spending Christmas alone or maybe a family struggling to make ends meet during the holidays, drop of a food basket and a card. Even a little can mean a lot. You can also do this thru local Churches, charities or food banks.
  5. Open One Present. Just a small one from someone you are with.
  6. Christmas Music.  Turn up the tunes! Tonight is the night for your favorite winter melodies. Manheim Steamroller Pentatonix A Little Bit of Everything
  7. Call Someone. Let the ones you love who are distant from you know they are thought of tonight.
  8. Cookies & Hot Cocoa. And don’t forget to leave a little for Santa and his posse.
  9. Make Time For Christ This Christmas. Whether at a local Christmas eve service or even re reading the story of His birth Luke 2 v1-20
  10. Get To Bed Early!  You’ve got a big day tomorrow!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Check Our our article “Fall Garden Preparation”

Restoring Rusty Cast Iron Cookware

You see a flower pot, I see a bean pot.

Cast iron cookware is often misunderstood in it’s purpose and misused in application. It is intimidating in weight, care and maintenance vs the much lighter off the shelf and into the dishwasher stainless and stickfree options. The truth is, cast iron is very versatile will outlive most owners with just nominal care, but it needs to maintain it’s seasoning, that layer of oil that keeps the surface smooth and protected. Without it, food burns, sticks and builds up and the inevitable begins-rust.

I won’t blind you with science, there are a lot of methods to restore rusted, flea market, discarded, scrap pile cast iron. Soaking in vinegar, treating with molasses, exposure to extreme heat and lye. The method I’ll cover here, using electrolysis is a simple method that isn’t labor intensive yet very effective.  Continue reading

Fall Garden Preparation

Fall Garden Preparation

So the last of the tomato plants have withered, the pole beans have quit sprouting and you’ve carried the final pumpin out for carving. No, you don’t just walk away and bid adieu until spring. Whether you a rural homesteader or a suburban green thumb, there is still work to be done my friend! The bonus is that, depending on your location, you won’t have to be working in oppressive heat. The fall will bring the cool mornings and bug free late afternoons where you can enjoy your time prepping the ground for the next spring’s seeds. And preparation is everything for your garden. It can mean the difference between an abundent and healty harvest and the blighted jungle of a mess in your neighbor’s backyard. Here we leave a few tips and methods for you to optimize next year’s harvest.

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The Last Men of The Revolution-Samuel Downing

The first in order visited was SAMUEL DOWNING, and the sketch of his life shall introduce the series.

Mr. Downing lives in the town of Edinburgh, Saratoga County; New York. His age is one hundred and two years. To reach his home, you proceed to Saratoga, and thence by stage some twenty miles to the village of Luzerne, on the upper Hudson. Here you are at once rewarded for your journey thus far. Few spots more beautiful are to be found. The river, flowing above it broad and free, at this point is compressed within a narrow gorge some twelve or fifteen feet in width, through which, after passing over a series of rapids known as Rockwell’s Falls, it rushes with great rapidity and force, the sound of its waters filling the air with music and your heart with freshness, as you listen to them, ceaseless, by day or by night. Continue reading

The Last Men Of The Revolution- Lemuel Cook

From the home of Mr. Waldo, the most distinguished, I passed to that of LEMUEL COOK, the oldest survivor of the Revolution. He lives in the town of Clarendon, (near Rochester,) Orleans county, New York. His age is one hundred and five years.

Mr. Cook was born in Northbury, Litchfield county, Connecticut, September 10, 1759. He enlisted at Cheshire, in that state, when only sixteen years old. He was mustered in “at Northampton, in the Bay State, 2nd Regiment, Light Dragoons, Sheldon, Col.; Stanton, Capt.” He served through the war, and was discharged in Danbury, June 12, 1784. The circumstances of his enlistment and early service he relates as follows: Continue reading

The Last Men Of The Revolution- Adam Link

The following is part two of four excerpts from the book ” The Last Men of the Revolution” written in 1864 by the Reverend Elias Hillard
When Adam was hundred and two years old. He made the statement that “his part in the war was unimportant”

Adam Link was born in Washington County, Maryland on November 14, 1761 to parents Jacob and Anna Link.. His mother, a distant relative of Jacob’s, was from Switzerland and died when Adam was six years old. After Anna’s death, Jacob remarried and move to Wheeling Creek, near present day Wheeling West Virginia.

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