Uncategorized October 8, 2021

It’s That Time Again! Getting Ready For Winter.

By Michelle Portesi 

As I sit here typing, I’m looking at some winter sugar coating that’s intruding all over my Fall. As per usual, the weatherman lied and the snow dropped down to lake level. As pretty as it is, thankfully the frosting won’t last. It’s a reminder though to start getting ready for winter, because you just never know if we’re going to get a more substantial dumping of the white stuff earlier than usual.

First things first. Find those shovels! You’re going to need them to get at all the other things you need to do. Now that you’re able to get out your front door, here’s the other stuff that needs to be taken care of.

CAR: Gather up the ice scrapers, snow brushes, sno hoes, chains and such for your car and make sure they’re in good working order. It’s also not a bad idea to have a small shovel in your car in case you get stuck.

It’s still a little early to put the studded snow tires on, but you might as well get them out and cleaned off so they’re ready to go November 1st. DON’T WAIT until the first large storm of the season is upon us! Everyone and his brother will have the same idea and it will be next to impossible to find an appointment to get them changed out.

It’s a good idea to keep some emergency items in your car such as a sleeping bag, water and candles (they give off an amazing amount of heat in a pinch). You just never know when you’ll get stuck on the highway, so make the best of it. It’s wise not to let your gas get below 1/2 a tank.

Check your oil, antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid and have extra in the car. Do you have the right windshield wipers?  Winter wipers will make your live so much easier while driving in the snow.

SNOW REMOVAL:  Are you going to plow your own driveway or hire a plow service?  It’s time to get that contract in place.  If plowing your driveway make sure your snow blower is in good working order.

GEAR:  It’s time to get your summer stuff in and winter stuff out and ready to go. Get out all the mittens, hats, gloves, coats, snow boots and other outerwear from their summer hiding places that you’re going to need for the season.  If you do winter sports, get your skis tuned and your skates sharpened. Find all the accoutrements that go along with them. I’m not sure if the ski swaps will be going on this year yet, but they’re your best bet if you need some updated equipment.OUTSIDE: We’ve had some cold nights, but no hard freezes yet. That being said, you’ll need to start thinking about putting your garden to bed soon. Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs, and they’re usually on sale, so now is the time to get them in the ground. Fertilize and mulch everything generously. As soon as the shrubs drop their leaves, bind them up so the snow doesn’t break the branches. You’ll need to keep watering them until they do. Put away the patio furniture (See photo below…), bikes, kayaks, rakes and hoses. Be sure to shut off the outdoor water spigots and drain the lines. It’s very important to detach your hoses. Water can remain in them and freeze through the hose bib.

What happens when you don’t get your lawn chair in before the first snow.

WATER DOES FREEZE:  And when this happens you can have broken pipes! Remember to keep the heat at about 50 to 55 degrees. If you want more assurance that your home will be safe in winter months turn off the water and use anti freeze in the drains.

INSIDE: Change the furnace filters, vacuum the grates and have your chimney swept (You already bought your wood right? No? Best get on it!). I waited too long one year and it was delivered while I was at work and then it snowed on it all day. I came home to a pile in front of my stairs that rivaled the Matterhorn and was almost as difficult to climb over).  Think of getting your furnace serviced and your gas woodstove if you have one.

Have flashlights, candles, matches, Kerosene if you use it for lamps, and a plethora of batteries. Keep your pantry well stocked so you don’t have to go out and forage for food during a blizzard. The power does go out here, so consider getting an emergency solar/hand crank radio and cell phone battery charger. Or you can splurge and get a generator.


There’s plenty more advice for winter to do lists, but these are the basics. Please don’t wait until the last minute to get you, your house and car in order. The weather here can turn on a dime, so if you’re prepared, you’ll start the winter season warm and cozy instead of frantic, wet and miserable.