News & Notes
Hewson Landscape, Inc.


In This Issue
December already and the end of 2014. Hopefully your year was a good one. Good news that fuel prices are dropping! New on tap for Hewson Landscape is that we will be going completely paperless out in the field for 2015. Yes, tablets are on the way.  I am researching service based software that integrates with quickbooks. A huge move, but one that will capture great data, and be an even better time saver. We are trying to button up work before the snows brings us to a complete halt! January will have a little vacation time, and then continue to repair and prep all the equipment and trucks for the upcoming  spring. We'll talk again next year. In the meantime, have a happy holiday and healthy new year.
All the best,
Shelly Hewson
President, Hewson Landscape Inc.   
            Oh the weather outside is frightful... 
But the fire is so delightful!
    'Tis the season for all things snuggly to escape the elements.  A lot of people get to enjoy a fireplace or a wood burning stove instead of bumping up the thermostat.  From chopping their own wood to buying colorful burning, man made logs that can sparkle.  
Prior to starting your first fire, a good professional cleaning and an annual inspection is recommended. Inspections will check for sound structure of the fireplace, and make sure that there are no obstructions in the chimney, like birds or squirrels or Santa.  All components will be checked for proper operation and the inspector will make recommendations if anything should be repaired or needs to be brought up to code.  After the inspection, the cleaning can begin.  An ash vacuum is used to remove soot and debris.  The chimney is then scraped and brushed from the top down, with that debris also vacuumed out.  Fire creates ash, soot and creosote, which builds up inside the chimney and inside walls of the fireplace and can get pretty thick, and is also flammable.   So of course, be sure there is a fire extinguisher nearby.     
The best way to help slow the creosote build up is to burn hardwood.  Maple, Oak, Ash or Cherry are all hardwoods.  Wood should really be cured or dried out for a minimum of six months.  Cured over a year will definitely burn better since it is not wet, it will not pop and send embers flying out of the fireplace and onto your carpet or toes!  And hardwoods burn longer, so you don't have to keep adding more wood to the fire.  Keep away from woods with sap, such as pine.
Also be sure to check for poison ivy vines, as you can still get a rash with the vines on the log.  Never burn treated wood or junk mail, this will give off toxic fumes.  Keep fireplace doors and screens closed while your fire is going, to prevent any escaping embers.  
Keep an eye on the build up inside the fireplace every couple of months.  The cleaning logs that are sold in stores are pretty effective at helping to keep creosote build up minimal if you use the fireplace a lot.  
Always, clear out COOL ashes before lighting a new fire.  Some say its beneficial to leave about an inch of ash on the bottom to get new fires going easier.  Shovel the ash into a fire proof container with a lid.  It can then be used as an organic de-icer that gives traction in the winter, and you can even use it to clean the soot from fireplace doors.  

Baby, It's Cold Outside, Bundle Up

So we have cuddling by the fire as an option as opposed to being out in the Big Chill. But eventually you have to venture out some where!  
We bundle up when we know we are going to be exposed to the cold for longer than a walk to the car.  
We do this to prevent getting cold, but mainly to avoid frost bite and hypothermia.  Hypothermia happens when body heat is lost faster than it is made.  Shivering and drowsiness are the first signs.  Shivering uses up body energy very quickly, causing drowsiness.  If you  notice anyone else beginning to exhibit any of these symptoms, get inside as quickly as possible to warm up.  If there is loss of consciousness or slurring of speech, seek medical attention.  If there is wet clothing, take the wet clothes off. Immediately get into dry clothing and wrap up in blankets. Avoid rubbing to warm up! This could cause the heart to fail.
Frostbite happens when skin is exposed to cold temperatures.  Any pain or discomfort experienced while in the cold is a good indicator to get warm.  Especially if the area is cold and wet.  Frostbite can leave permanent damage, and in extreme cases be a cause for amputation.  If you feel burning, tingling or pain, or the skin looks hard or waxy, seek medical attention immediately.   
Best to avoid 10 cups of coffee to keep warm, and you shouldn't consider that shot of brandy. Instead, drink warm sports drinks, warm sugary liquids or hot broth.  
Ever wonder about football players?  The tough guys make being out on the field in no sleeves look cool!  Literally.  Most pro football players forgo sleeves so that no one can grab on to them.  They cover exposed skin in petroleum based "potions" mixed with Tiger Balm, to help insulate their skin.  They use hand warmers in their shoes and some will wear surgical gloves under their other gloves for another layer of warmth.  All of the players and staff on the sidelines are monitored throughout the game for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.  While players are on the sidelines, they are treated to heated benches, that have special posts to even keep their helmets warm.  Many ride stationary bikes, and sip chicken broth to keep their bodies warm and to replenish the salt content that is lost through perspiration.  When you see the steam coming from their mouths while breathing and running and tackling, its  a mist that is being exhaled and can lead to dehydration.  
Poinsettia is the most popular plant during the Christmas Season.  Founded by Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, an amateur botanist and first US ambassador to Mexico, this plant was first introduced in 1828, as a roadside weed.  Poinsettia is a tropical plant, that is native to Mexico where it grows wild.  When planted in the ground they can grow up to 10 feet tall.  
The vivid red colored Poinsettia are the most popular, but they do come in a variety of colors such as white, pink, salmon, apricot, and yellow. Over 34 million are sold annually in the US. It is the highest selling potted flowering plant. Top grower is California, with North Carolina second, and Texas coming in third. It has been used to decorate churches for centuries. The Aztecs used the leaves to dye fabric for clothing and the sap for medicinal purposes, such as helping to control fever. The red color was considered a symbol of purity and used in traditional religious ceremonies. Translated, Poinsettia means "Flower of the Holy Night", referring to Christmas Eve. 
True or False: Poinsettia is a poisonous plant. False. It has been tested by the National Poison Center in Atlanta, Georgia and by the American Medical Association. This does not mean they are safe to eat!! If ingested, it can cause stomach irritation.
 Carbon Monoxide Alert
With the cold weather comes an added risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It is produced by appliances and other devices that generate combustion fumes, especially those that burn gas, wood or other petroleum products.  This can be especially dangerous when people are sleeping or intoxicated.
Be sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed on every floor of your home. They even have them for RV's and boats.  If it starts to beep, heed the warning and get out of the house and call the gas company to come and check for a leak.  Vacate the building immediately and move into fresh air. If possible, open a few windows to ventilate the space.  I've never heard of a false reading from a detector, yet we are so in tune to tuning out alarms in general! Too much carbon monoxide can diminish the body's ability to absorb oxygen, causing serious tissue damage. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death. It's a silent killer.
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Contact me today about financing info! 
(908) 222-3616.
May light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you. 
May your hurts turn to healing;
your heart embrace feeling.
May wounds become wisdom;
Every kindness a prism.
May laughter infect you;
your passion resurrect you.
May goodness inspire,
 your deepest desires.
Through all that you reach for,
May your arms never tire.
by D. Simone
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Hewson Landscape Inc | |
601 North Avenue
Plainfield, NJ 07060
Office 908-222-3616
Fax 908-222-3617