December 5, 2013
In Indiana we see our fair share of sleet, snow and ice once we enter the winter season. With the reports of some impending wintery weather this Holiday season, we thought we’d review & share some safety and preventative driving tips.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full to reduce condensation buildup that can lead to gas line freezing
- Your car battery should be in good condition and fully charged to start your car in cold weather.
- Have a professional inspect your breaks to ensure they are functioning properly so your wheels don’t lock up on slick surfaces.
- Change worn windshield wipers and fill your window washer reservoir with a winter solvent that won’t freeze so you have good visibility.
- Be sure tires stay inflated. The air pressure in your tires decreases 1-2 psi for every 10-degree drop in outside temperature.
- Drive slowly when roads are wet and covered with snow and increase your following distance to 8-10 seconds (instead of the usual 3-4 seconds).
Add the following items to your car emergency kit:
√ Blanket, warm gloves and winter hat
√ Chemical hand warmers
√ Small folding shovel
√ Windshield scraper with a long handle brush.
√ Cat litter to spread under your tires to help provide traction on slick road surfaces.
To reduce risk even further, let us come pick up and delivery your cleaning for FREE. We’re in your neighborhood anyway and we run our route every week regardless of sleet, snow and ice. Sign up here to get started.
December 3, 2013
For families who choose to put up a real Christmas tree (instead of a store bought tree), it’s about this time of year when they start the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. Not all Christmas Trees look the same; some have soft, flexible needles while others have firm. Trees can even vary in color, height and width. Depending on your your space, decorations, and other factors, there are a variety of different trees to choose from.
Here are the most common varieties of Christmas Trees:
Fir Tree Varieties:
* A Fraser fir tree has dark green needles 1/2 to 1 inch long with excellent needle retention and a nice scent.
* A Douglas fir tree’s cones hang downward and the tree grows into a cone-shaped naturally. It has 1 to 1-1/2 inch needles that are persistent with a sweet scent. (This tree is found in nearly every tree lot in the Unites States).
* The Balsam fir is a beautiful pyramidal tree with short, flat, long-lasting, aromatic needles.
* The White fir has long blue-green needles that are 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long (sometimes mistaken for a pine). The fir has a nice shape with a pleasing aroma and good needle retention.
Pine Tree Varieties:
* A Scotch pine tree has stiff branches, two bundled dark green needles 1 to 3 inches long that are retained for four weeks. The aroma is long-lasting and lingers through the entire season. Scotch pine does not drop needles when dry – excellent retention.
* A Virginia pine is dark green to gray in color and the limbs are stout with woody branches. It has only recently been used as a Christmas tree but is one of the most often purchased Christmas trees in the Southeastern United States.
* The White pine is the largest pine in United States and the state tree of Michigan and Maine. The tree retains needles throughout the holiday season but has little or no fragrance and not a good tree for heavy ornaments. The tree is sought by people who suffer from allergic reactions to more fragrant trees.
Spruce Tree Varieties:
* A Colorado Blue Spruce has dark green to powdery blue needles, 1 to 3 inches long and a pyramidal form when young. Colorado blue spruce is very often sold “living” and with an entire root ball – to be planted after the holidays.
* A White spruce has green to bluish green needles but has poor needle retention and they have an unpleasant odor when crushed. It is a regional favorite because it grows into the best shapes in the wild. The tree is excellent for heavy ornaments.
Cypress Tree Varieties:
* The Arizona cypress has become a valued Christmas tree. It’s a steeple shaped tree with a pale-green to gray-green color. The leaves are extremely tiny and quite plentiful. They lay close to the branchlet surface in a scale like arrangement and are about 0.1 inches long.
* The Leyland Cypress is dark green – gray in color and has very little aroma. Because it is not in the Pine or Fir family, it does not produce sap, so that those with an allergy to sap can still enjoy a Leyland as their Christmas Tree.
* The Eastern red cedar branches are light but compact and form a pyramidal crown as a young tree. It’s not a true cedar but in fact a juniper. The needles are aromatic and a dark, shiny, green color and sharp and prickly to the touch. It’s been a traditional Christmas tree of the South.
What is your favorite variety of Christmas Tree? Do you prefer a real farm raised tree or a reusable artificial tree?
November 25, 2013
With Thanksgiving in a few days, we know many of you may be hosting your family for dinner. If you’re a bit rusty on how to set the dinner table correctly, here are some basic rules to follow. Aside from these basic rules, have fun and be creative with colors, themes and centerpiece decor. Pinterest has at TON of ideas and we’ve been pinning quite a few ourselves.
Here are the basics:
* Start with the plate or charger. A charger can take the place of a place mat and it helps to keep the dinner plate warm.
* Align the flatware with the bottom rim of the charger/plate and place the flatware on the outside of the plate on the left and right side in order of how you will begin eating a meal. For example, if you are having a salad or soup before the main course, you will place the salad fork on outside of the dinner fork and the soup spoon on the outside of the dinner knife.
* Bread and butter plates sit above the plate and to the left with the butter knife across the plate.
* Stemware is set above and to the right of the dinner plate. The water glass stands above the dinner knife and if you are serving wine, the wine glass will stand to its right.
* The dessert fork and spoon are laid across the top of the setting above the plate and the fork’s tines should face right and the spoon’s bowl should face left.
* If the cloth napkin is lightly starched, pressed, & folded, place it to the left of the plate, under the forks, or on top of the plate. Or, you could drape the napkin through a festive napkin holder and place it on top of the plate.
Now that you know the basic setting, you can make adjustments and have some fun. You could add placement cards for your guests in front of or on top of the plate, center a pretty flower or candle arrangement, and mix vintage china with newer pieces as House Beautiful suggests.
After Thanksgiving, we’ll be offering 15% off all Table Linens from November 29th – December 14th to help take a little of the pressure off of you and save you time on putting together the perfect table setting for your guests.
However you choose to set your table, the focus is on the spirit of the occasion. We wish you all a fabulous Holiday season!
November 19, 2013
If you’re ever near 116th & Olio Road in Fishers, stop in and say hi to Deb. She didn’t really want her picture taken but don’t let her photo shyness fool you. She’s extremely outgoing and loves meeting new people.
Deb will celebrate her 10 year anniversary with Classic Cleaners this coming May and for the last 7 years she has managed the store at 11501 Geist Pavilion Drive in Fishers, IN. Before joining Classic Cleaners, Deb worked as a pharmacy technician and every job prior has always been customer service related.
Today, Deb says the best part about working with Classic Cleaners is the customers. She’s established amazing rapport and relationships with them over the years. She goes above and beyond for her customers and has driven items to and from customer’s homes when they’ve been in a pinch. Some of her customers have become Deb’s friends – she’s even been invited to be a guest at one of her customer’s wedding!
This time of year, Deb is a self-described “Hunters Widow”. Her Husband of almost 12 years, Todd, spends the fall months hunting deer. When he’s successful, Deb can cook just about anything with venison. Most of the time, her guests don’t know it’s deer meat when she whips it up in the form of fajitas, tacos & chili. In fact, her venison chili won a chili contest last year.
Deb doesn’t hunt but she’s always loved the outdoors. Growing up in the country in Wabash, Indiana, she was “never inside”. In the summers she’d play at the river, the reservoir, fish, hike the forest, boat, swim – you name it. And in the winter she’d ride snowmobiles. She even fishes and can put a worm on the hook. Deb isn’t afraid to touch the worm or the fish, but she says she needs plenty of paper towels. Once a month she still visits her family in Wabash and recently visited to celebrate her Grandfather’s 85th Birthday.
When Deb isn’t working, she’s home spoiling her “kids”: 2 Dogs and 2 Cats. She loves to curl up with a good book and watch TV and just relax. On the weekends, Deb and Todd like to go out to a casual dinner at Chili’s where they are known by the same waitress who serves them each time. In the summer they go to their home-away-from-home at Hidden Paradise Campground where they spend time with a group of regulars that have become like family. They’re so close as a group that in the winter, when they aren’t able to visit at the campground, the group gets together for an annual Christmas Party.
Are you a customer of Deb’s? Did you know all this cool stuff about her? We hope you enjoyed getting to know her. Thanks, Deb for all your years with Classic Cleaners – and for making your customers feel appreciated each day.