Stoke the Flames With These Fireplace Tips

In many parts of the country, it’s time to stoke up the fireplace or woodstove for a little extra heat. Here are some hearth-warming tips to keep in mind: Heating With Wood Can Save: According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, burning one cord of wood generates the heat equivalent of  200 gallons to 250 gallons of fuel oil. Based on our most recent fuel oil bills and the cost of a cord of wood from a firewood supplier, that much …

Programmable Thermostats: Savings or Not?

A couple of years ago I wrote an article for AARP about simple ways to reduce the cost of heating your home. After reading it, my wife promptly added a number of the energy-saving tips I’d suggested to my “honey-do” list, including installing three programmable thermostats around our house. The good news was that the new thermostats were inexpensive and easy to install. We found a three-pack on sale at a home improvement center for  $70, and, much to my …

A Winter’s Tale: Helping Seniors Weather the Cold

There’s a woman who sits in the square outside my office. Her name is Anna, and she’s 92. Her caregiver Magda wheels her there, just a couple blocks from her apartment, so she can feed the birds. Or, as Anna, a lifelong New Yorker, says, “the boyds.” Seeing Anna in the square is like seeing my friend Arthur at the theater. It’s her happy place. She could spend hours there, watching the boyds fly up to the rooftops and down …

Warm Holiday Drinks

It’s late December, the kids are on their best behavior and Old Man Winter has been camped outside for a few days. It’s also a time when family get-togethers can have you stressed out, your bones are chilled to the marrow and a beverage offering a bigger kick than coffee is really what you need to make all right with the world. What better way to relax than with a winter themed drink? Mulled wine is one of the easiest …

Serving others makes you Rich

Recently, I was travelling across the upper plains, when I woke up to the thermometer reading negative 26 degrees. I hadn’t experienced these kinds of temperatures since I lived in Minnesota as a child. Yet, somehow, I forgot that the cold can really sting. I forgot that the weather can change drastically in an instant. I forgot that you don’t sit next to a drafty door in a coffee shop. I simply forgot that Jack Frost is still a formidable …

Winter Kills: Even Mild Ones Cause More Deaths

It doesn’t matter whether you spend winter shoveling snow in Massachusetts or walking on the beach in California, you’re more likely to die of heart-related issues in the winter months, a new study finds. Cardiac researchers with Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles reported this week that it’s not the climate that causes heart-related deaths to spike in the winter, it’s just the season. Basically, winter is bad for your heart. Compared to the summer months, people are 26 to …