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Japanese Yew - Be Careful!

It’s that time of year when everyone is gearing up for the Christmas Season!  I know, we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet, but there you have it.  With that being said, there is something you need to watch for when purchasing greenery to decorate the outside of your house.
Japanese Yew is a very commonly used greenery in Christmas Wreaths and garland as it has beautiful red berries.  However, it is deadly for our wildlife.  Ingesting even a small amount can kill a large Elk.   Please be aware of what you are decorating with this upcoming season.

Here are some links for more information:


An Attitude of Gratitude!

Most of us have come to think of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to express our gratitude for the prosperity in our lives, whether that's the relationships we have with our friends and families, our opportunities, our health—and to stuff ourselves with mashed potatoes, of course!

For many of us, this year has been full of challenges. We have faced uncertainty, unknowns and plenty of changes. As we head in to the month of November, and the beginning of the holiday season may we all make an effort to focus daily on what we are thankful for. May we try to foster an attitude of gratitude.

Be Thankful
Poet Unknown

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.
It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Getting Ready for Winter in the Idaho Mountains

Now that the leaves are changing colors and the mornings are more crisp it is a great idea to cross off some important items on your to-do list that are specific to getting your home and property ready for winter in the mountains!

Tune Up Your Heat
You read that right, before you turn up your heat you will want to tune up your heat! If you are using a propane or electric furnace to heat your home, schedule an inspection to ensure your unit is working efficiently and properly. Getting an inspection done in the fall when you are not relying on the system for daily heat may save you time, cost, and headaches mid-winter! Remember to replace your filters too! These things never go out at a convenient time, so get ahead of repairs with maintenance. If you use a wood stove or a pellet stove the same theory applies. You will want to make sure your chimney is  well-cleaned, and your wood stove or pellet stove is in good working condition going into the winter months. Cleaning your chimney is especially important, as it is not only a matter of efficiency but is also a matter of safety.

Turn Ceiling Fans Clockwise
Heat rises, and in homes in our area high ceilings are common. For efficient heating and more controlled temperatures throughout your home, switch your fan to run the blades clockwise. This will push the heated air away from the ceiling and down into the room. Well circulated air creates better temperature control and will leave you feeling cozier.

Check Your Roof
In the mountains it is common to have a metal roof, which allows the snow to slide off and is easy to maintain. When the snow slid off your roof last winter there is a chance that it loosened up some screws in the process. Visually inspect your roof or hire a local contractor to come take a look for you. Keeping those screws snug will help prevent snow and ice from catching in those areas, which could ultimately prevent the snow from sliding altogether. If you have a home with a shingled roof you will want to look for shingles that are damaged, loose, or missing. You can hire a handyman to repair a few shingles if you do not feel up to the task yourself. Knowing your roof is ready for winter is a great comfort when the forecast calls for lots of snow!

Tidy Up
When the snow starts coming down in the mountains there is a good chance you will not see the ground again for several months. When you are shoveling pathways or plowing your driveway you do not want to run into something hidden under the snow. Store away garden hoses, sprinklers, outdoor toys, patio sets, garden pots, and everything else that you can. It might take a day to do it, but you will be able to bring it all back out again once the snow melts, confident it is still in good condition.

There are more items that can be taken care of before the snow flies, but this will give you a good start. If you would like recommendations for having any of these services done, please feel free to contact our office as we would be happy to help! Now, get ready to cozy up and enjoy a beautiful, white winter in the mountains!

Mountain Lion Safety Tips!

By now, you have probably seen the viral 6 minute video of a hiker that had an encounter with a mountain lion. We live amongst the wildlife in Boise County and no matter the species, residents and visitors should always remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Our community does a great job alerting others right away of any mountain lion sightings and share recordings from their security cameras on Facebook.

Elk and deer roam our area and they are the natural prey base for mountain lions. When living or visiting the mountains, it’s always important to be prepared for any encounters with wildlife. Below are some tips from mountainlion.org should you ever come across a mountain lion while spending time in the mountains.

Make noise.
Yell, shout, bang your walking stick or water bottle. Make any loud sound that cannot be confused by the lion as the sound of prey. Speak slowly and as loudly as possible.

Seem as large as possible.
Make yourself appear larger by picking up children, leashing pets in, and standing close to other people. Open your jacket. Raise your arms. Wave your raised arms slowly.

Act defiant, not afraid.
Maintain eye contact. Never run past or away from a mountain lion. Don't bend over or crouch down. Aggressively wave your arms, throw stones or branches, do not turn away.

Slowly create distance.
Assess the situation. Consider whether you may be between the lion and its kittens, prey or cache. Back away slowly to give the mountain lion a path to retreat, never turning your back. Give the lion the time and ability to get away.

Protect yourself.
If attacked, fight back. Protect your neck and throat. People have used rocks, jackets, garden tools, tree branches, walking sticks, fanny packs and even bare hands to turn away mountain lions.

Overwintering Geraniums - Idaho Winter Garden Tips!

If you’re like me you love the easy care, splash of color that a border or basket of Geraniums adds to the summer décor.  The deer tend to leave them alone and if pruned and watered properly, they will bloom all summer long.  In fact, I have one now, in October, that is puny but still flowering.

Rather than toss them away and re-purchasing in the spring, it is possible to keep them over the winter.

Try this:
Before frost remove the plant from the pot.  Trim away all  the wilted and dead leaves.  Remove all  the buds and flowers.  Carefully shake the soil from the roots.  Take as much dirt away without harming the roots.  Place the plant in a dry place overnight to insure it dries out completely.  Gently place the plant into a paper bag or box.   Roll the top of the bag or overlap the lid of the box to protect the plant.

Check the plant about once a month.  Remove any moldy or mildewy leaves and put the plant away again.
In early spring start to spritz the plant occasionally with water.  You’ll observe small leaves starting to emerge.  In April or May repot the plant and let it grow out.   About 2 weeks before the weather is warm enough to put the pots outside, cut the new length back to ensure the summer plant will grow out nice and full.


The Mountains!
Are Calling!
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