Monthly Archives: December 2017

This could be one of the coldest New Year’s Eves in 40 years! Bundle up!

Baby it’s Cold Outside!

The New Year is almost here, and we here at The Storage Inn Self Storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, are experiencing some of the coldest weather in recent memory. Luckily for our storage space customers, we’ve unboxed the long johns and stocked up on lock de-icer to help them through this cold snap! I asked one of our rental customers, who also happens to be a police officer, what he found to be the biggest problem during cold weather like this. Without hesitating, he said “fires caused by people trying to keep warm using space heaters, or other inventive methods. We all want to be warm, but we have to be safe too.”

On that note, here are some tips from our local Police and Fire departments on staying safe and warm during extreme cold!

Layers, Layers, Layers!

It might seem obvious, but piling on a few extra layers is a great way to stay warm, especially if you have to be outside. Keeping your core warm is especially important when temperatures dip below freezing. Air gets trapped between the layers of clothing, and is heated by your body, allowing you to stay warmer than with one heavy garment..

Eat to Keep the Heat

You already know that eating healthy in the winter can help to fend off colds and the flu, but did you know it might help keep you warm, too? Eating extra healthy fats during the winter can help rev up metabolism, which in turn heats the body.

If your New Year’s resolution was to drop a few pounds, don’t worry – you can always skip the extra fat and try eating warmer foods and drinks including soups, spicy foods, hot coffee and teas to fend off the chill!

It May Seem like a Good Idea, but…..

Although alcoholic beverages might make you feel warm, they actually decrease your core temperature and can be dangerous during winter months.

Alcohol actually reverses some reflexes that control body temperature, especially the body’s ability to shiver. Alcohol can also make you sweat, even when it is cold, which can lower core temperatures even more. Save the cocktail until you’re in for the night!

Keep your Fingers and Toes Toasty

Hypothermia is most likely to begin in extremities like your hands and feet, so keeping your fingers and toes warm is important. Whether you’re walking to work or just around the block, make sure to wear sturdy, insulated shoes that will help prevent slips on slick surfaces and keep your feet dry. Also wear insulated gloves or mittens.

Give your Space Heater some Space!

Space heaters are a great way to add extra heat to colder rooms, but always remember to keep flammable items including clothing, rugs, bedding and curtains at least three feet away from the heater at all times. Also remember to place the heater on a hard, non-flammable, stable surface and to turn it off completely before leaving the house. Set a reminder on your phone if you’re afraid you’ll forget.

Don’t Forget our Furry Friends

Always remember to bring pets inside when temperatures begin to drop. You might be jealous of your dog or cat’s fur coat when temperatures drop, but they need to be kept warm too. Limit the length of their walks, particularly on snowy or icy surfaces.

Keep an Eye on the Fire

It’s easy to snooze in front of a roaring fire, but always make sure that fireplace embers are completely out before going to bed for the night.
Wood fireplaces should always have a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

Keep Important Phone Numbers Handy

Heavy snow and ice can settle on power lines and cause power outages. Write down utility numbers and have them handy during a storm in case you need to report an outage or incident.

Check in on Elderly Friends and Neighbors

Here are a few things you can check:
Do they have heat in the home?
Do they have hot water?
Are all their appliances working properly?
Are their pipes, sprinkler system and faucets protected against freezing?
Is their phone operational?
Do they have the phone number of someone they can call for minor emergencies? Yours?
Please don’t wait until something tragic happens. Take a few minutes to help a neighbor. It’s well worth your time.

So, there you are – some great tips to help you deal with the cold weather. From the staff here at The Storage Inn, have a Warm, Safe and Happy New Year! 

 

Crazy Christmas Traditions from Around the World!

‘Tis the Season…for Giant Goats and Roller Skates!

Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, and Ocean City, New Jersey! Christmas is almost here, and our self storage staff and rental unit customers are all in the Holiday spirit. We are all looking forward to enjoying our traditional holiday activities including big family gatherings, trimming the tree, opening gifts, turkey dinners, and football games.

Recently one of our storage customers who is originally from South America, told me about a Christmas tradition in her country that I could hardly believe. See if you can pick it out of this list of unusual holiday celebrations around the world!

Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines
Looking for some festive sparkle? The Giant Lantern Festival  in the Philippines is held each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando. The festival attracts spectators from all over the country and across the globe. Eleven villages take part in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. The original two foot paper lanterns have evolved over the years into twelve foot elaborate kaleidoscope creations.

Caribbean Snow, Cayman Islands

Think it can’t snow in the Caribbean? Well it can – sort of… It’s common during the Christmas season to see Cayman cottages with their front yards covered with sand carried up from the beach, and lined with sea shells, to simulate snow.

Krampus, Austria
There’s an Austrian tradition where St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus, a beast-like demon creature, roams city streets frightening kids and punishing the bad ones! He is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells.

Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan and it remains largely a novelty in the country. However, a new, quirky “tradition” has emerged in recent years – a Christmas Day feast of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken. The festive menu is advertised on the KFC Japan website and reservations are recommended.

Gävle Goat, Sweden
Since 1966, a 40 foot tall Yule Goat has been built in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent, but this Swedish Christmas tradition has unwittingly led to another “tradition” of sorts – people trying to burn it down. Since 1966 the Goat has been successfully burned down 29 times – the most recent destruction was in 2016.

If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Visit Gävle website through a live video stream.

The Yule Lads, Iceland
In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 tricky, troll-like characters come out to play in Iceland. The “Yule Lads” visit children across the country over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. For each night of Yuletide, children place their best shoes by the window and a different Yule Lad visits leaving gifts for nice girls and boys and rotten potatoes for the naughty ones.

Saint Nicholas’ Day, Germany
Nikolaus travels by donkey in the middle of the night on December 6th, and leaves little treats like coins, chocolates, oranges and toys in the shoes of good children all over Germany, but it isn’t always fun and games. St. Nick often brings along Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert). A devil-like character dressed in dark clothes covered with bells and a dirty beard, Knecht Ruprecht carries a stick or a small whip in hand to punish any children who misbehave.

Brooms in Norway
Perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. To this day, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen.

Rolling into Christmas,  Caracas, Venezuela
Every Christmas Eve, the city’s residents head to church in the early morning, but, for reasons known only to them, they do so on roller skates.
This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety. Afterwards everyone heads home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of ‘tamales’!

So, there you have some of the most unusual holiday traditions from around the world. We here at The Storage Inn, wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season. I’ve got to go now – I need to oil up my rollerblades and make my Christmas reservations at KFC!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It’s December here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and the winter weather officially arrived over the past week! But despite all the white stuff, our storage customers shuttle to and from their storage units,  retrieving decorations, and hiding gifts for the holidays in their storage units. Here in Southern New Jersey, we are very lucky (or unlucky if you are a snow lover) that we average just a foot or two of snow annually. Watching the snow melt away today made me wonder, who gets the most snow, and where? Here are some of the biggest snow events in history, and snowiest cities in the USA…

Crazy Snow Events!

Most skiers know about the phenomenal snow year of 1998-1999 in Washington State’s Mt. Baker ski area. 1,140 inches (95 feet) of snow fell to the ground over the course of the ski season. That amount of snow would cover the White House by 25 feet.

In Mount Rainier National Park, at the Paradise Ranger station, 1,224.5 inches (102 feet) of snow fell between February 19, 1971 and February 18, 1972. That’s equal to the height of a 10 story building.

At Thompson Pass in Alaska, they enjoyed or suffered through, depending on your opinion, a great or horrific year in the winter of 1952-1953. That’s when 974.1 inches (81 feet) fell from the heavens. In 1963, that same area saw 78 inches fall in one 24 hour period!

Massive snowfalls are not only found in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. The coastal town of Valdez, Alaska sees an annual average of 320 inches, and that’s at sea level! The winter of 1989-90 is in the record books as Valdez’s snowiest winter ever, with a total of 560.7 inches (46 feet) of snow.

Silver Lake, Colorado saw 76 inches of snow in a 24 hour period. But the storm did not stop after 24 hours. When it all ended 32.5 hours later, 95 inches lay on the ground. That is an average of 2.9 inches an hour.

In 1982, Mother Nature dropped 186.6 inches on Donner Summit, California. In fact Donner Pass, has topped 775 inches of snow on four separate occasions, making it one of the snowiest places in North America.

Top Ten Snowiest Cities in The United States

  1. Syracuse, NY – Annual Snowfall 110 inches
  2. Erie, PA – Annual Snowfall 89 inches
  3. Rochester, NY – Annual Snowfall 88 inches
  4. Buffalo, NY – Annual Snowfall 83 inches
  5. Flagstaff, AZ – Annual Snowfall 82 inches
  6. Utica, NY – Annual Snowfall 78 inches
  7. Grand Rapids, MI – Annual Snowfall 66 inches
  8. Diluth, MN – Annual Snowfall 63 inches
  9. Cleveland, OH – Annual Snowfall 60.5 inches
  10. South Bend, IN – Annual Snowfall 60 inches

Well, as the snow continues to melt here at The Storage Inn – I think I’ll have a nice cup of hot chocolate, and be thankful that we didn’t break any records for snowfall! That would be a lot of shoveling! – Happy Winter!

Time to Deck the Halls!

The holiday season is upon us, and that can mean only one thing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – Time to dig out the boxes of holiday decorations and begin turning our self storage rental office into a holiday wonderland!  We do it every year. Whether at home or work – we put up the tree, hang the lights, and pull out the Christmas knick-knacks, along with the tinsel, gingerbread men, reindeer, Christmas bells ,and what seems to be a never-ending assortment of Christmas tree ornaments. We all love them, but what do they mean, and where did they come from? Here is the history behind a few of our favorites…

Christmas Trees:
The green fir tree was originally used in various European countries to celebrate winter. Branches of the fir tree were used to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it was said to make them think of spring being around the corner. Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia and Christians began using the tree as a sign of everlasting life with God.


Nobody knows when the first Christmas appeared, but the general consensus is that it began about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe, where they were hung upside down from the ceiling using chains (hung from chandeliers or lighting hooks).

In parts of Northern Europe Fir trees would be re-planted into pots in the hope they’d flower at Christmas time. The poor man’s Christmas tree was a pyramid of wood, which was decorated to look like a tree with paper, apples and candles.


Tinsel:
Tinsel originated in Germany in the early 1600s – back then it was shredded silver. Real silver.

Tinsel makers of the day would hammer the silver until it was thin, then cut it into strips. It was so popular that eventually machines began making the stuff to keep up with demand.There was just one problem – the smoke from Christmas candles caused the tinsel to turn black, so they began making it with tin and lead. That version proved to be too heavy for a Christmas tree, so the Brits took over and came up with the light silver sparkly tinsel we enjoy today.

Baubles / Tree Ornaments
Once again the Germans stepped up in the decoration invention department. Baubles were invented by Hans Greiner, a local, who first manufactured them in the late 1840s. The first baubles were fruit and nut shaped glass, eventually turning into a more spherical shape that we know as Christmas balls. Britain’s Queen Victoria was said to be quite taken with the tradition of baubles and brought them from Germany to Europe in the mid to late 1800s.

American retailer F.W. Woolworth made his fortune by importing baubles into the country in 1880. By 1890, he was reportedly selling $25 million worth a year.

At first, baubles were only for wealthy people as they were hand-crafted and made of glass. But it wasn’t long before a plastic version was made, allowing cheaper manufacturing and affordability for everyone.

Fun Fact – In Britain it is bad luck to keep your Christmas decorations up after the 12th day of Christmas, on the 5th of January.

Christmas lights:

In Victorian times, the tree would have been decorated with candles to represent stars. In many parts of Europe, candles are still used, but insurance companies in the U.S. tried to get a law passed so that candles would be banned from use on Christmas trees because of the many fires they’d caused. In 1895, an American man, Ralph Morris, concerned about the fire hazard of candles and Christmas trees, invented the first electric Christmas lights, which are similar to the ones in use today.

Mistletoe

Another popular decoration for the home is branches of holly and mistletoe. Their bright red holly berries, made a sweet contrast to the white mistletoe. The two were woven together to make Holy Boughs, which were blessed by the local priest, before being hung by the front door.

Any visitors would be embraced under the bough as a sign of goodwill. As for the ‘kissing under the mistletoe’ tradition, it originated in Britain where the original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of the Mistletoe before the person could be kissed. Then, when all the berries were gone. – No more kissing!

Well, that was fun! Meanwhile, back in the office, I see that quite a few of our customer’s are retrieving holiday decorations from their storage units, I even saw one of our rental tenants with a Santa Suit – Hmmm… Don’t know if he’s the real Santa, but if he is, I have been very good this year, and I’ve always wanted a Corvette. Happy Holidays!