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Secure Your Home for the Holidays

November 9th, 2013 12:28 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President

Changemyrate.com Since 1989

November Edition



Secure Your Home to Keep the Holidays Happy

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays make you careless about securing your home. Here are a few things to remember:

Year-round

The garage door opener in your car gives easy access into your house. After your marathon of mall trips, make sure your cars are locked or stored in the garage. For added safety, lock the door from the garage into the house.

Sliding glass doors are an easy entry for burglars. Keep a wooden dowel wedged along the track to make these doors secure.

Time to Travel

Although you probably won’t hear this in a carol, the holiday season is the “travelingest time of the year.” If you are going away, heed the following:

Have a neighbor or house-sitter bring newspapers and mail inside.

Tell a trusted neighbor your itinerary, your mobile number, and any activity you expect at the house.

Be careful with social media. Don’t announce your travel plans or vacation pictures during your trip on Facebook, or your blog. You’ll also want to consider how using applications like Gowalla will affect the safety of your home.

Use a simple timer device to turn on lights and other electronics, giving the appearance of an occupied house.

Turn around the address cards on your luggage tags, so they can be accessed if needed, but not read at a glance. You don’t want to advertise just which house you are leaving empty.

'Tis the Season

Finally, these tips are specifically for shoring up your home for safety around the holidays.

Make sure that your beautiful window display doesn’t also advertise your stacks of wrapped gifts or other valuables.

Do not thread an extension cord through a cracked window to power up your holiday lights. Burglars could follow the cord to the open window.

Break down the boxes from your biggest gifts before placing them on the curb. You may be happy for your neighbors to know about your new big-screen TV, but if you want to keep it, fold up the box and hide it inside your garbage.



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The Key to Tender Turkey
Turkey is made of two different kinds of meat. White meat (breasts) are much dryer and are overdone by the time the dark legs and thighs are done. Put icepacks on the breasts of your turkey for an hour or so before popping it in the oven. The temperature differential should keep the breasts from overcooking.

Practice Stuffing Safety
It's better not to stuff your turkey at all — it's very hard to get the temperature high enough in the stuffing without turning the breasts into turkey jerky. It's much easier to cook the stuffing in a separate pan. But, if you must stuff your bird, be sure to stuff it right before you put it in the oven. Leaving the stuffing in overnight greatly increases the risk of foodborne illness. Use a meat thermometer to insure that your stuffing reaches 165 degrees.

Thanksgiving World Records May Make You Stuffed Just Reading Them

Heaviest Turkey
The greatest dressed weight recorded for a turkey is 86 pounds for a stag named Tyson reared by Philip Cook of Leacroft Turkeys Ltd., Peterborough, United Kingdom. It won the last annual "heaviest turkey" competition, held in London on December 12, 1989, and was auctioned for charity for a record £4,400 (then $6,692)

Largest Pumpkin Pie
The largest pumpkin pie weighed 3,699 pounds and measured 20 feet in diameter. It was made by New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, USA on September 25, 2010.

Largest Pumpkin
The largest pumpkin world record was set by Jim and Kelsey Bryson, from Ormstown, Quebec, Canada. The pair grew a 1,818.5 pound pumpkin, and broke the world record on October 15, 2011.

Largest Monument to a Turkey
The largest monument to a turkey was built in Frazee, Minnesota, known as the Turkey Capital of the World. The statue, named "Big Tom", stands over 20 feet tall and is 17 feet wide. This monument is a popular roadside attraction to those passing through.

Thanksgiving Facts

More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.

Turkeys have heart attacks. When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.

The test for the perfect time to harvest cranberries is to pick one and bounce it on the ground. If it bounces 4 inches up in the air, the crop is at the best stage for harvest.


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Posted in:General
Posted by Jackie A. Graves, President on November 9th, 2013 12:28 AM

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