Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Lights at Peddler's Village in Lahaska 2008

If you are looking for something to do this holiday season, check out Peddler's Village, especially after dark. In addition to the hundreds of specialty stores, they offer a nice holiday atmosphere.

To begin with, the village is lit with literally a million or so lights on the trees and buildings. As you walk around, you are treated to an ever changing view. The Gazebo houses a collection of Gingerbread and Marzipan houses. We went this friday and there was no line to get in, but the movement inside the Gazebo was pretty slow. It was worth it though in order to see some great designs.

There is a stand selling warm cider on the square in the center of the village. The warm it in a copper kettle over a hardwood fire. If you are downwind, the smell of the fire just adds to the charm. (IE just enough to notice but not overpowering). You can hear Christmas music througout the square area. The winery was offering complementary wine tasting.

So, if you are looking for something to do with the kids for the Holiday season, then consider a ride to Lahaska.

If you go, make sure you wear good walking shoes and clothes that are warm enough for the weather. Also, if you park in the lot near Earl's Prime note that a lot of the spaces are reserved for Hotel guests and subject to towing. One final thought is that it might pay to bring a backpack if you are planning on purchasing a number of items. Even if you aren't planning to purchase it's hard to avoid it as you go throught the stores.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brown Stink Bugs... Aaaaarrrrggghhhh

We are fighting a losing battle with those nasty little brown stinkbugs. Apparently they came over from Asia and are in the area to stay. During the winter months, they tend to find their way into houses and live in the walls. If there are any cracks or openings they then find their way into the house.

These things are ANNOYING. The sit on a wall or other surface and just sit there. Once in a while they will buzz around the room, crash into a wall and fall to the floor.

The really bad thing about them is that they are odiferous, an offense to the olfactory senses. In other words, they stink.

Battling these things is a pain. To deal with the immediate infestation you need to trap then one by one. However, if you aren't careful they will raise a stink.

Sucking them into the vacuum doesn't work very well. The vacuum will stink. You don't want to crush them and throw them in the trash because the trash, and possibly your hands, will stink.

We've found a couple of things that work. (1) Catch them with a bit of saran wrap or the equivalent. Roll that up into a tight ball. The Saran Wrap is pretty good at locking the scent in. (2) Get a decent wad ot toilet paper and catch them without crushing them. Ball it up and flush them down in the sewer with the rest of the stink.

For the longer term I'm going around the house checking for cracks at the baseboard, windows, light switches and any other area they can get in. By sealing that up, you will reduce the infestation inside the house. Once the summer comes and they have left the walls, it's time for Mister Caulk Gun and a lot of caulk. That will help keep them out for next year.

I have read that you don't want to use insecticides. Supposedly you will then have carpet beetles that will eat the dead bugs and then your woolen clothes. There are some traps that are supposed to work.

For more info, you can check out the Penn State Page or wiki on the critters.