Well folks, Mother Nature doesn’t seem to be fooling around. It is now officially Autumn and the mercury attests to that. Temperatures have dropped and I bet there are more than one of you, my readers, who have broken down and turned on the furnace. Good for you that are holding out! You are saving a couple of bucks, in exchange for the wrath of your kids’ complaints. Don’t forget to put on your slippers before stepping out of bed in the morning though. It has been mighty cool on more than one morning the last week or so!

Have you thought about why it might be cold in your house? Yes, the falling temperatures certainly has something to do with that, but does your home have to be as crisp as it is? There just might be a few things you can do now to keep your home warmer in the days to come. It’s time to inspect your home and do a few home improvements or just general maintenance to save you a few degrees and a few bucks on heating this winter.


cold house on a cold day

Don’t leave your house out in the Cold this Winter


  • Insulate around windows and doors (that means weather-stripping and caulking folks!)
  • Replace old, cracked or broken windows as necessary
  • If money is preventing you from replacing your windows, install storm windows instead (Older windows might need the extra insulation that storm windows offer)
  • Add insulation/foam insert into exterior wall electrical outlets and light switches to reduce drafts
  • Close blinds at night to keep heat in & open them during the day to let heat/light in
  • Check insulation in attic; add as necessary to decrease heat loss from roof
  • Insulate exposed pipes, such as in a crawl space, attic or on exterior walls
  • Consider installing airtight fireplace doors to prevent heat loss from your chimney, when the flue is left open (like when the fire is still burning when you go to bed)
  • Check concrete block sill plates in the basement to see if there is air loss and caulk as necessary


After inspecting and improving the state of your home, pull up a chair to the dinner table and tuck into this week’s crock pot creation – Slow Cooker Porcupine Meatballs with Peppers, compliments of Allrecipes;




    • 2 pounds lean ground beef
    • 2/3 cup uncooked white rice
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 beaten egg
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil


    • 1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
    • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
    • 1/2 cup red wine
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen pepper and onion stir fry vegetable blend


  1. Thoroughly combine ground beef, rice, milk, egg, garlic, basil, and salt in a bowl. Form the mixture into about 16 1-1/2 inch meatballs.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and brown the meatballs well on all sides, about 15 minutes.
  3. Place the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, beef broth, red wine, basil, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and 3 minced garlic cloves in slow cooker, and stir to combine. Put the meatballs into the slow cooker, and stir gently to cover with sauce. Shake the frozen vegetables over the sauce, without stirring, and cook on Low, covered, for 6 to 8 hours, until the meatballs are tender and the vegetables are cooked.
  4. About an hour before serving, gently stir the sauce, being careful not to break the meatballs, and remove the bay leaves. Cook for 1 more hour to blend the flavors and thicken the sauce.