Individuals representing agencies serving Christian County will be able to share upcoming programs, discuss issues
critical to their needs and network with other agency representatives on Wednesday, December 3 at 11:45 a.m. at the U of I Extension office at 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville. IL
This meeting is open to the public, and agency representatives may bring their lunch and 25 copies of any handouts they would like to share. This meeting will wrap up by 1:00 p.m.
The University of Illinois Extension seminar, "Blues, Blahs and Bouncing Back," will discuss the differences between the everyday blues and depression, tips to help bounce back from occasional blues, and how to help others through these times.
Patti Faughn, U of I Extension Family Life Educator, will conduct this workshop on Thursday, December 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the UI Extension Christian County auditorium.
The seminar is provided free of charge, but advance registration is needed by Friday, December 5. To register, call the U of I Extension office in Christian County at 217-287-7246, or e-mail your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Astronaut, Mae Jemison, once said, "Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It's your place in the world; it's your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live."
Human creativity is a gift to be treasured. It is NOT the same as intelligence, talent, or eccentricity. Instead, creativity is the ability to temporarily forget "what we know" to ask new questions and seek new discoveries to problems.
The workshop, Fostering the Creative Spirit in Yourself and Others, will discuss current research regarding how creativity develops, is expressed, and changes throughout life.
Fostering the Creative Spirit in Yourself and Others will be presented by Patti Faughn, Family Life Educator, UI Extension at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 22 in the UI Extension auditorium.
As the holidays approach, many families will be faced with at least two horticulture-related challenges—how to select a Christmas tree and what to do with the gift poinsettia plant.
Information on both topics are readily available at the U of I Extension Christian County website located at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian. Click on the "Local Links" tab on the "home page," scroll down to the Holiday Websites category and select "Christmas Trees & More," and "The Poinsettia Pages."
"Christmas Trees & More" is a one-stop source for a broad array of information, not only about Christmas trees but flowers and greenery, tree farms, and recipes. There is a page that has recipes for Christmas tree cookies plus a holiday tree-shaped cheese ball and a Christmas tree cake.
"The Poinsettia Pages" include a list of things to consider when shopping for a plant. The length of time your poinsettia will give you pleasure in your home is dependent on (1) the maturity of the plant, (2) when you buy it, and (3) how you treat the plant. With care, poinsettias should retain their beauty for weeks, and some varieties will stay attractive for months.
There are three topics for the winter "4 Seasons Gardening" sessions being offered in January 2009 at the U of I Extension office at 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville.
Cool Season Vegetable Gardening - Tuesday, January 27, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, January 29, 7:00 p.m.
Spring Flowering Shrubs for the Home Landscape - Tuesday, February 10, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, February 12, 7:00 p.m.
Ornamental Grasses - Tuesday, February 24, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, February 26, 7:00 p.m.
Please call 287-7246 one week in advance of the specific presentation you would like to attend . A prepaid registration fee of $2 will be assessed for printed handout materials.
Annie's Project, an educational program for farm women, will be offered Tuesday evenings on June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 2009 from 6:00—9:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Land Community College Computer Lab, Room 107, located at 800 S. Spresser St., Taylorville, IL. This program is being sponsored locally by First National Bank on Spresser and University of Illinois Extension Christian County.
Annie's Project is a series of educational programs for farm women wanting to learn more about farm management and improve their skills as business partners, and will be taught by Ruth Hambleton, UI Extension Farm Business Management and Marketing Educator. Topics will include the basics of managing money, examining how property is titled, setting up farm leases, basic grain marketing, deciding on insurance products, and putting together a business plan which includes financial documents like balance sheets, income statements and cash flows.
Annie was married to her farmer for five decades before she died in 1997. Program sponsors are University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Agri-Women, Illinois Farm Bureau, Farm Credit Services, and Illinois Risk Management Agency. Grant funding is supplied by the North Central Risk Management Education Center, Lincoln, NE. Visit Annie's Project on line at http://www.extension.iastate.edu/annie/.
The registration fee for this program is $50. For those who've participated in Annie's Project before, there is a $25 fee. To register or for further information, please call the Christian County Extension office in Taylorville at (217) 287-7246. Class size is limited to the first 15 who register.
In a typical home fire, people have only about two minutes to get outside safely. Having a smoke detector cuts the chance of dying in a home fire by nearly 50%.
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) estimates that 93% of U.S. homes have at least one smoke detector. BUT, there are now more homes with smoke detectors or alarms that don't work than homes without them.
Smoke detectors save lives, reduce injuries, and decrease property damages.
What are the different types of detectors? How do they work?
Smoke detectors sense rising smoke and sound a piercing alarm. The most popular types are:
What features should a smoke detector have?
* strobe lights for the hearing-impaired
* smoke and carbon monoxide units
What maintenance is required?
Testing: NFPA recommends testing at least once a month or when the alarm chirps.
Replacing Batteries: at least once a year or when the alarm chirps. A good rule is to test when daylight savings time changes in the spring or fall or both. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Cleaning: dust, cobwebs, insects, etc. can interfere with operation. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.
Replacement: smoke alarms have a useful life of about 10 years. At age 10, the entire alarm should be replaced, even if it seems to be working. New ones have a date stamp.
Where should smoke detectors be placed?
Strands of holiday lights seem innocent enough, but when too many are plugged into a single outlet you run the risk of over-loading a circuit. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 6,000 people are injured by holiday decorations and accidents involving Christmas trees each year.
The Leviton Institute cautions that as the holiday season approaches there are hidden dangers lurking in and around the home that can put a damper on holiday cheer. It urges consumers to use caution both when decorating their homes for the holidays or leaving home for a holiday vacation and offers the following safety tips.
1. Avoid Circuit Overload: Signs of an overloaded circuit include lights that flicker or dim, an outlet or switch that feels warm to the touch, and a tripped circuit or blown fuse. Never plug more than three strands of lights into one another or into a single extension cord. If a strand of lights, or an extension cord feels warm to the touch, unplug some of your decorations or use a thicker extension cord.
2. Check Decorations and Wiring: Always check the condition of each light strand before you use it. Check for broken or cracked sockets, loose connections, and frayed or cut insulation. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. And always be sure to turn off your lights when going to sleep or leaving the house.
3. Follow Rating Guidelines: Outdoors use only lights rated for outdoor use, and indoors, those designed to be used inside. Make sure outdoor lights are plugged into a GFCI receptacle, preferably one with a weatherproof cover. Another option is to purchase an inexpensive extension cord set that has a built-in GFCI receptacle. When connecting the lights, first plug the GFCI cord set into the outdoor outlet. Next plug your extension cords and holiday lights into the GFCI cord set. GFCI cord sets are available at hardware stores and home centers for $25.
4. Protecting Your Children: Christmas lights entice small children to grab hold or worse—put them in their mouths. String the lowest strand of holiday lights out (continued on page 8) of the reach of infants and toddlers and avoid putting small, breakable ornaments on lower branches. Installing outlet caps over exposed outlets will prevent your child from coming in contact with the receptacle. Keep extension cords out of the way so they can't be pulled, stepped on or tripped over.
5. Protect Your Home: If your going out of town this holiday season make sure you protect your property from burglary and theft. The number of burglaries rises dramatically during the holiday season. There are many steps homeowners can take to protect their homes. Most are simple, like installing deadbolts on all outside doors and making sure doors and windows are securely locked before leaving home. Adequate nighttime outdoor lighting is an important deterrent that will make your house less attractive to a burglar. Install inexpensive motion detectors. These automatically turn on lights when human presence is detected anywhere within their sensing range, and turn them off once the person leaves. Use timers inside your home to turn room lights, a radio, and even the TV on or off when you're away. Programmable models will vary the time intervals each night of the week to give your home a "lived in" look.
By following these tips you can protect your home and family and ensure that all will be calm and bright during the holidays.
Source: Helpful Hints on Home Electricity from the Leviton Institute