If you’re running out of space on your bookshelves, it might be time to consider thinning out your collection. Where can you donate the books you no longer need? Here’s a list of places to consider.
1. The Salvation Army – Book donations stock the Salvation Army store or provide reading materials for Salvation Army’s homeless shelters.
2. Goodwill – Proceeds from donated book sales fund job training and placement programs for those who face unemployment challenges, such as the disabled.
3. Libraries – Check out the Friends of the Library Society which holds book sales and other fundraisers to benefit the libraries, using donated books to stock library shelves or reselling the books at fundraising events.
4. Local Thrift Stores – Many of these stores are nonprofit and by donating your books to these stores you increase the availability of affordable books in your community.
5. Books for Soldiers – Create care packages with your used books and send them to deployed soldiers overseas. You’ll want to sign up as a volunteer on their website for security reasons and then you can browse through soldier requests.
6. Books for Africa is a charity that sends freight containers full of thousands of books to students in Africa. The charity looks for reference books and recent textbooks, both primary and secondary educational levels, but you can also send fiction and nonfiction books.
Some of the best gifts for teachers, friends and co-workers at the holidays are treats you can bake at home and freeze ahead of time. The middle of October is the ideal time to get a head start so you’re not so rushed around the holidays. One option is this chocolate chip pumpkin bread that’s easy to make. Simply bake, double wrap in foil and plastic wrap, then freeze. Thaw out the night before you plan to give the loaf as a gift and place in a gift bag with tissue.
3 cups white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour three 1 pound size coffee cans, or three 9x5 inch loaf pans.
3. Combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs in a large bowl and beat until smooth.
4. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill cans 1/2 to 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
6. Cool on wire racks before removing from cans or pans.
October is National Book Month. Here are some tips for how to organize your books at home:
Start by emptying your shelves and sorting through your books. You can categorize them alphabetically or by color or genre. If you’ve not read a book in over a year, consider passing it on to a friend. Store books where you’ll use them. Keep your kids’ books at a child-friendly height in your family room. Group your books by size, keeping paperbacks and hard covers separate. If space is an issue, consider stacking large volumes no more than three high.
Keep your books’ pages dust free by taking a vacuum or microfiber cloth and working from the spine out and keeping the spine close. Avoid cleaning books with wet cleansers and if you need to clean the shelves, allow enough drying time before restocking stacks.
To maximize shelf space consider making a DIY shelf riser, saving boxes from waxed paper, plastic wrap or foil, leaving the empty rolls inside for support. Put the boxes at the back of the shelf and wrap with acid-free paper from your local craft store. Then arrange your books on top of the box or in front, leaving enough space in between.
Peeling and Chopping a Butternut Squash is difficult and dangerous with many of us opting to spend extra money on precut butternut squash at the grocery store. But if you’re looking to save some money, here’s the safe and easy way to peel and chop butternut squash.
You’ll need butternut squash, a cutting board, large sharp knife, vegetable peeler and spoon. Before you begin be sure to wash you squash under warm water and then dry the skin with a paper towel.
1. Place squash on its side on a cutting board and slice off both ends. Be sure to stabilize the squash with your dominant hand using the claw method as you make your initial cut into the squash’s skin. Once you’ve penetrated the skin, and the knife no longer poses a threat of slipping, apply more pressure to complete your cut.
2. With the squash still on its side, run your vegetable peeler along its length in long strokes or peel it half up the side before turning the squash to peel the other half.
3. Cut the squash in half at the point where the neck ends and the squash’s body begins to curve out.
4. Cut the neck into rings (1-inch rings if your recipe calls for 1-inch cubes). Then slice the rings into long rectangles and then into cubes. Don’t worry about the ends of these pieces being triangular in shape.
5. Cut the body in half lengthwise. This will expose the seeds. Use your spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. Save the seeds if you plan to roast them. Then slice each body half into strips and then cut each strip into cubes.
Here are some tips for keeping your kids safe this National Child Health Day and all year through:
· Make sure your child gets enough sleep (10 hours per night). Establish a bedtime routine that includes bathing, teeth brushing, getting ready for bed, and reading a story in bed.
· Model good eating habits for your child by drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods.
· Avoid obesity by keeping junk foods to a minimum. Birthday cake at a party is fine, but not everyday. Also, avoid empty calories in soft drinks and fatty foods which promote obesity and cause all kinds of health problems.
· Encourage your kids to play outside every day, or as often as the weather permits.
· Team sports, karate, gymnastics, or swim team are great ways for your kids to get regular exercise.
· Limit time your kids spend on the Internet, TV, messaging or online gaming.
· Keep your kids away from smokers as second-hand smoke can make asthma worse and cause other respiratory problems.
· Help your kids establish good hygiene habits by having them always wash their hands after using the restroom, before eating, before helping with food, and after wiping their nose.
· Prevent infection by properly cleaning and bandaging scrapes and cuts.
· See your family’s physician regularly for checkups and immunizations.
· Don’t send your kids to school if they’re sick and avoid contact with friends you know are sick with any communicable illnesses.
· Keep your kids safe from household hazards like unsafe cleaning products, medicines, swimming pools, sharp tools, and unsafe furnishings.
In October 1879 Thomas Edison created the incandescent electric light bulb. While incandescent lightbulbs are more affordable than LED lightbulbs, incandescent bulbs produce more heat than they do light. If you have loved ones who are newlywed, in their first home or apartment, consider giving LED lightbulbs as gifts this year. They’ll last longer and save your loved ones money in the long run.