Laura June and Ari Lahdekorpi RE/MAX Little Oak Realty

Summer will be here before you know it, and we're definitely glad about that. And now is a great time to get your home in top shape for the months ahead. Whatever your weather, caring for your home now will help to ensure a worry-free, comfortable summer. Follow a few of these tips each week and you'll be done in no time. 


  • Inspect siding for cracks and make any needed repairs.
  • If paint is peeling, cracking, or chipped, repair and repaint now to limit damage to the underlying materials.
  • Remove window screens and clean them with a soft brush and soapy water. Rinse well and allow them to dry in the sun. Repair any holes or tears, or replace the screen material before reinstalling. It's a fairly easy DIY job to replace the screening, or you can check to see if your local hardware store offers this service.
  • Have your air conditioning unit serviced to ensure good operation. Promote air circulation around the unit by keeping surrounding shrubs and plants trimmed.
  • Clear debris from gutters and eaves to allow rainwater to drain properly.
  • Seal cracks in the driveway and keep walkways clear of debris and overgrown plants.
  • Test irrigation and sprinkler systems and replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters. Check for proper water coverage and adjust if necessary.
  • Power wash decks and patios and seal surfaces as appropriate.

  • Vacuum or brush off refrigerator coils to help maintain energy efficiency. Depending on your model, the coils will be located either on the bottom or on the back of the appliance.
  • Empty dehumidifier pans and clean hoses according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If possible, take area rugs outside and hang them over a deck or porch rail to air out.
  • Adjust ceiling fans for proper balance and change the rotation to the summer setting. While you're at it, give the unit a good dusting to avoid blowing dust around the room.
  • Switch out heavy bedding for lightweight summer fabrics. Have the winter bedding cleaned before storing it away for the season.
  • Close the chimney flue to prevent insects from entering and to help keep cool air in during the months ahead.
  • Repot houseplants to give their roots a fresh start for the summer.
  • Check door and cabinet hinges and lubricate any that stick or squeak.
  • Open windows even on cooler days to get fresh air flowing throughout the home.
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There is an old saying, “Fake it till you make it” when you encounter a high stress situation or environment where you will be judged on first impressions. The suggestion in the old saying is that you move forward in an encounter, even when you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of yourself. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal in personal encounters. We are all assessed by others within the first few seconds of an encounter. This is particularly true in first time meetings. Our non-verbal communication governs how others feel about us, and then how receptive they are to our verbal messaging. New research seems to confirm that the old adage is actually sound advice.

Our minds and bodies interact and influence each other in both directions. The body creates chemicals both in response to physical positions and movement, as well as receiving cues from the thought and emotional process.  The hormones, Testosterone and Cortisol have a lot to do with our sense of confidence or our feelings of stress. Testosterone is released into the body giving more confidence and assertiveness, while Cortisol is the stress reducing hormone that makes us withdraw into a self-preservation mode. These hormones respond to our body language and influence our thinking and emotions.

The body will naturally produce Testosterone when you use what researchers call “power poses”. These are the open stances that you will see Olympic athletes take when they have won a race, or when someone is feeling the most confident during a personal encounter. The amazing thing is that if you assume one of these stances for a period of 2 minutes that is enough time to produce testosterone which in turn gives you naturally induced confidence. On the other hand, if we withdraw into a closed stance or a “submissive pose”, our stress levels are reduced and we signal submission and surrender.

Before you enter a job interview, or a social encounter that requires an air of confidence, remember to take a couple of minutes in private and assume a “power pose” to build your hormone levels, and thus put your non-verbal signals and your thoughts into their peak performance. Despite whatever fears you may be encountering in your mind…they can be dealt with by fooling your brain into a confident frame of mind.

So, according to research into non-verbal communication the new saying should be, “Fake it till you create it” because in truth, that is what happens. 

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