Winter is coming… to Nashville

Winter is finally coming to Nashville. If you haven’t endured the cold winters we have here then you’re in for some surprises. One of the worst things about living in Nashville is that we are just on the eastern edge of the central time zone (Central Time).

Why is this a negative thing? It’s because the sun will set in Nashville proximately one hour earlier than it sets in most places. For example, when I lived along the eastern seaboard, in Washington DC, the sunset at approximately 5:45 PM. By going in our westward the difference in sunset time was only perhaps five minutes. But Nashville is right up against the eastern edge of the central time zone, which extends all the way past the Mississippi. So that means that the sun sets in Nashville somewhere around 4:30 PM in the deep of winter! Yikes!  You’ll notice the Nashvillians are often complaining about the darkness. That’s because they actually receive one hour less of life than most places.

So what can you do to help deal with this cold weather and darkness? One of our favorite things to do is to check out shows at TPAC or the Nashville Opera.  Another fun thing that we did recently with the kids was to go to Opryland (or rather the grand old Opry). The have an entire set up with ice-skating and ice sculptures. There are plenty of restaurants in Opry Mills where you can eat afterwards.

Fall Cleaning Tips for your Home

It is very important to clean your home…and regularly. When your home is dirty or disorganized, it is very difficult to focus on anything you do. Most importantly when people come to your place and if your home is dirty then it creates a bad impression. In an attempt to force myself to prepare for cleaning, I am turning this into a post about cleaning tips (and things that have worked for me!)

cleaning-tips-for-your-home

5 Cleaning Tips for Fall

1. Clean and organize the garage

Clean the garage. When it comes to cleaning the garage, everyone is lazy as it takes lots of time. For lots of people, the garage in their house is a secret place which is never cleaned. Honestly speaking, cleaning a garage is a very difficult job and start it as soon as possible if you haven’t. So start with entry door from where your car enters and gradually move to the back of the garage. Before cleaning your garage it is advisable to make some notes like keeping the tools and accessories in front which you use often and the tools which are used once in 6 months, keep them in the backside of your garage. Now after positioning everything, sweep the floor and clean properly.

2. Clean your carpets

Winter is going to be mess with all the mucking in and out. But by cleaning the carpets now, you can prepare the carpet for the long winter months. Chem Dry solutions are the most effective way to go. This is a cleaning solvent which “dry cleans” the carpets. Typically the drying period can last many hours, but when we used a local carpet cleaning company, Drycon, the carpet drying time was less than an hour and the carpets looked almost brand new. They recommended that after a long and cold winter, we re-clean the carpets in the spring. This also has health benefits as particles become trapped in the carpet fibers and inhalation can be damaging to health. (You can learn more about Drycon’s carpet cleaning in Nashville on their website: http://dryconnashville.com/

3. All about windows and their covering

All the windows in the house need to be washed using a glass cleaner or dishwashing liquid sprayed on the window glass and wiped using a microfiber cloth. In case the windows are extremely dirty you can start by dusting it or by using a vacuum cleaner to clean the frames. The blinds also need to be vacuumed first and then it can be submerged in cool water with a bit of dishwashing liquid after removing the metal weights. If the drapes are cotton, wool, polyester then they can be machine washed but materials like silk, satin etc. need to be sent to a professional cleaner who can give proper home cleaning tips.

4. Kitchen cleaning

It is very important to ensure that the kitchen is clean and germ-free every once in awhile. All the ceiling, sink, slab and shelves need to be cleaned. The refrigerator needs to be cleaned properly. All the racks, shelves, and bins need to be removed and cleaned using an antibacterial cleaner. The door gasket also needs to be cleaned very well. The stove also needs scrubbing to get rid of all the grease. In the case of an oven, it should be heated with a cup of ammonia in a ceramic dish inside the oven to loosen all the baked stuff. The windows should be left open while doing this.

5. Clean the roof gutters

The last tip is to clean the roof gutters that create lots of problems especially during the spring season as this roof gutters are nothing but they are traces and chutes that block the water especially the rainwater off your roof. Normally it is very difficult to clean the roof gutters but after a light rain the leaves are lightly damp and come up more easily. The main place where the heaviest concentration of leaves and gunk gets accumulated is at the drain outlets, so it is better if you start cleaning from there. So remember one thing that if you are seriously looking for a good gutter maintenance then definitely take a look at your home’s roofline and follow the home cleaning tips. Like with all professional services, I would recommend thoroughly checking the reviews and reputation of any company. A great place to start checking contractors in this area is on the Better Business Bureau website

Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater is amazing!

Wow. We are so impressed with the new Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville. Good friends of ours came into town from to see the Goo Goo Dolls and Collective Soul. This sure is a blast from the past!  Anway, Ascend Amphitheater is the new music area near the pedestrian bridge across from Nissan. This is such an amazing venue. Built last year, right off of the downtown 2nd Avenue area.

Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville

Here is the promo poster for the concert:

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Nashville Mosquitos are back! Tips on How to Get Rid of Mosquitos

Well, it’s that time of year again. Yesterday was the first day of summer – and Nashville is going to have a long and hot summer. As you might have noticed, we also get a lot of rain here in Music City. So what does that mean? One word: Mosquitos!

No one likes to be bitten by mosquitoes, but it can be even more problematic than a simple annoyance. It is certainly unpleasant to be covered with itchy, red bites, but mosquitoes can also carry some pretty serious diseases. Recently the State of Tennessee issued warnings about the dangers of our mosquito population – and the spread of Zika Virus in Tennessee.  Malaria is another terrible disease spread by mosquitos – and while isn’t really a significant concern in the continental United States, that certainly was a concern in the past and is yet a concern in many areas of the planet.  This is why mosquito control is of such importance. Yet, that said, no one has really controlled mosquitoes themselves. There are hundreds of millions of them, so it’s not likely that that’s ever going to occur within the near future.

Beyond that, though, it’s not wise to endure the consequences of mosquito infestations. That’s why it is a pretty good idea to hire a company specializing in mosquito control in Nashville to get rid of mosquitoes and mosquito infestations. With professional help from an exterminator, you can control your mosquito problem relatively easily and quickly. We recently used Earthwise Pest Solutions to have our backyard sprayed with eco-friendly mosquito insecticide, and so far, I have been delighted.

Of course, you can avoid using  exterminators and instead handle this pest infestation yourself; the easiest method to do that is usually to spray pest repellents which will effectively repel mosquitoes. These could indeed be pretty effective at keeping mosquitoes away.

Mosquito traps can also be effective. These work by utilizing propane and mimic human breath. Mosquitoes are attracted to the traps, whereupon they are trapped and can no longer get away.

Mosquito netting can be an inexpensive way to repel mosquitoes for pest control. Mosquito netting doesn’t keep mosquitoes away through chemical means, but instead simply provides a barrier so that they can’t enter the space you’re surrounding the mosquito netting with. It’s not a perfect solution, but it can certainly give you basic protection so that you avoid getting bitten.

You also can use preventive maintenance, which can be important for pest infestation prevention. When mosquito larvae hatch, they need water to do so. So, keeping the area around your property free of standing water can also help manage your mosquito issue. Places such as ponds, non-draining gutters, or other environments where standing water can offer an appealing spot for mosquitoes to breed ought to be eliminated.

It also will be a smart move to hire professionals to address the situation if it reaches the point where common solutions won’t work. Why continue with a method which just isn’t delivering results? Consider employing the professionals as they can deliver on expectations.

Mosquito control is not as tough to engage in as what might originally be thought. However, it can be done with the correct tactic and an understanding of what methods to make use of and when. With such a good approach, the problem of mosquito control will not be difficult to get a handle on.
Also,
Female mosquitoes are the ones which bite and suck blood in order to reproduce. They need blood for their eggs to develop. They generally bite humans, frogs, mammals, snakes and birds, honing in on the host with the help of odor, moisture, carbon dioxide and body warmth. They usually breed around their living spaces to be near their targets.

Laying eggs on standing water, stagnant ponds, ditches and fresh or saltwater wetlands, flowerpots or old auto tires, this is the life cycle of the mosquito: eggs hatching into swimming larvae, pupae and after 24 hours developing into flying adults. Carefully planning the elimination program, the Public Works Department intends to prevent larval development into adult mosquitoes by identifying breeding sites, using larvicide and trapping mosquitoes in their breeding sites As soon as the spraying is planned, the resident public is notified in advance of areas to be sprayed as theses fumes are hazardous to the human population.

The other methods generally employed by the homeowner are mosquito repellant sprays, bug zappers, bird and bat houses and citronella plants though these eliminate only a very small percentage of the mosquito population. As prevention is the best cure, people must look for possible breeding sites in their yard and communities and eliminate them. It is much easier to get rid of them in the egg and larva stage than later.

Looking for more information on how to eliminate these pesky and dangerous insects?  The CDC provides some excellent information about protecting yourself from mosquitoes here.

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New Music News

Here in Nashville, we always encounter so many unbelievably talented singers and songwriters. The entire city is full of musicians who came here to launch their careers and take their music careers to the next level. I remember when I was in college, I tended bar with a very talented singer named Joe. He seemed like a very normal student, but on the nights we did karaoke, suddenly he transformed into another person. Years later, while watching music television, I saw him hosting the Country Music Television awards. His career had taken off – many of you will know his by his stage name of Joe Nichols. Many people will recognize “Brokenheartsville” (2003), “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” (2005), “Gimmie That Girl” (2010), “Sunny and 75” (2013) and “Yeah” (2014).

Music-Star-Joe-Nichols

Also exciting for me is rumor that Kaskade is releasing a new album soon. Many of you will know his hits featuring Deadmau5 called “I Remember”, and the hits “Turn It Down” and “Eyes”. Another of his greatest songs in the electronic genre is the mix with featuring Skylar Grey called “Room for Happiness”.  Supposedly Kaskade has returned to the studio in Marquee, the Las Vegas nightclub, to record his new upcoming album. We hope this comes out soon – almost everything that Kaskade musically produces is unbelievable!

Kaskade-New-Album

That’s it for this week – we’ll bring you more music tips and updates soon!

Feel free to contact us if you have any music, art or theater tips you would like us to know! We Love Art!

 

Top 5 Broadway Plays

Having been in theater for most of my life, I have not only seen hundreds and perhaps even a thousand performances – but I have actually taken part in over 30 separate shows.  As part of the cast, you really get to experience a show in a different manner – one that allows you to see the inside, not just the outside.

However, like everyone, I have my favorites, my “evergreen” favorite broadway shows. For me, these are, in no particular order:

The Phantom of the Opera – This is just a classic, one that is for the ages. I first saw it at age 10…and since then, have seen it perhaps every few years.

The Lion King – My first Disney play. I was blown away. But the music and storyline really make this one, don’t they?

A Chorus Line – My mother played the soundtrack from Chorus Line when I was growing up, so I hear it over and over and over. Just got stuck in my head 🙂

Man of La Mancha – My sister and I used to watch the movie version of this. So many different tones to the music – and a fantastic story for the ages.

Grease – Another leftover from my mother. We grew up singing these songs around the house.

phantom of the opera