I’m Gorgeous Inside; But Really?

Fall is here! What a glorious time of year with fresh air, the changing colors of the leaves, true blue skies, and wonderfully cool evenings. I love this time of year and the change of seasons! Fall is a great time to spruce up the outside of your home and make it exude “WELCOME”. I recently saw a home for sale with a sign that said “I’m gorgeous inside”. However, the home had very little curb appeal. Well, if you want a buyer to come inside, you need to do something with the outside. This home had undefined landscape beds, with grass and weeds growing into what should have been mulched beds. I would have suggested that they hire someone to simply edge their yard and lay down some mulch in the beds…a fairly simple and inexpensive exterior home improvement. Fall is an easy time to make your home have wonderful and inviting curb appeal. Mums are inexpensive and currently available everywhere. Put a few of these on your front porch. Pumpkins are also in abundance; add a few of these to the mums, hang a fall wreath on your front door and there you have it – an easy fall transformation! And while we’re on the subject of transformation, fall is the best time of year for lawn improvement. Now is the time for aeration, over seeding and fertilizing. Over time, soil can become compacted, especially with the clay we have here in Northern Virginia. Aeration involves perforating the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to be able to reach down into the grass roots. Aeration will allow those important elements in to create a healthier, stronger lawn. Aeration machines can be rented at any home improvement store and there are a myriad of landscaping companies who also offer this service. Grass should be cut before aeration is done. If you have any bare spots in your yard, you can put down some compost and top soil and rake some grass seed into those spots. This should definitely be done after the aeration. Fertilizer should be applied at […] Read more »

Are You Calling Me a Slug?

When we first moved to Northern Virginia I was a bit shocked to hear the concept of being called “a slug.”  What is a slug?  The term refers to commuters who ride, free of charge, in another person’s car to give the driver the “privilege” of using the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which are available throughout the DC Metro area.   These lanes typically are much less congested and thus faster than the normal lanes.  The HOV lanes from south of the District require a minimum of 3 passengers and are in effect northbound from 6:00-9:00 am and southbound from 3:30-6:00 pm.  It’s like carpooling, on a non-personal basis.  You, the slug, are doing the driver a favor by helping him meet the minimum number of occupants required in his car to use the HOV lanes; the driver does you a favor by giving you a free ride to work, or at least close to your work, depending on the location.  It works both for morning and afternoon commutes.  Alternatively, if you prefer the convenience of having your own car, then you certainly can take on the role of driver. There are specific slug line locations in the northern Virginia area, many of which are also located at commuter lots with public transportation.  The closest commuter lot to the Fairfax Station area is the Sydenstricker Lot, at the intersection of Sydenstricker and Hooes Roads, adjacent to the Fairfax County Parkway.   A larger one is located in the Rolling Valley Mall on Old Keene Mill Road in Burke.  There are very specific slug destinations; you may not get out wherever you want.  Some of the more popular slug lines are those to the Pentagon and Rosslyn in Virginia, and L’Enfant Plaza and several locations along 14th Street in the District. What does it take to become a slug?  It takes the desire to share the road with other commuters and lighten the load on our heavily travelled highways.  It takes a short wait in the slug line (usually no more than for a bus) and perhaps a friendly “good morning” or […] Read more »