Previous Issues

Welcome to the “Spring Planning” issue of AcreageLife magazine. And to be honest, it feels good to finally be able to use the word “spring” and not feel like a hypocrite. This is our second “Spring-something” themed issue for 2014, despite a seemingly endless winter that can be charitably described as “challenging.” You can understand, then, why I felt a little less than honest last month when we were going on and on about “spring this…” and “spring that…” when all I saw out my front window was three feet of snow piled-up along the walk, never mind the accompanying temperatures that were cold enough to make a polar bear think twice about stepping outside.So here we are, in mid-March, putting the finishing touches on our April issue. And finally—I’m almost afraid to say it—it actually feels like springtime. Sure, there’s still a bit of snow on the ground. And if I were a betting man, I’d go as far as putting some money down on “It’s going to snow at least once more this year,” at least in our neck of the woods. But in between the shrinking...
As you may have noticed, we here at AcreageLife like to use themes, or motifs, as a framework for each issue. For example, March’s theme is “Spring Fever.” And generally, when I start writing “From the Editor,” I like to do a little research on the theme if it’s a phrase or a concept that’s been around for awhile. I don’t know about everyone else, but I find that once words or phrases make their way into common usage, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research—often, the original meaning of the phrase can surprise you. “Spring fever” is no exception. I found its definition as convoluted and confusing as any. To the Germans, it means a seasonal tiredness or malaise. Other definitions prattle on about serotonin and melatonin levels being out of whack. I was left scratching my head—since when was “spring fever” a bad thing?  To me, “spring fever” means getting your ya-yas out on the first nice day—typically in March around here—and whooping it up like a goofball. It’s the kind of scene that would terrify people in more temperate locales: motorcyclists...
The latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, show that we spent more in 2012 on consumer expenditures than during the pre-recession halcyon days that peaked in 2008. While this news may seem eye-opening to those of us still watching our purse strings, where our money goes remains remarkably consistent through both good and bad economic times. The vast majority of our incomes—well over 30 percent, on average, according to the BLS—goes into housing, with transportation coming in a distant second. While I don’t think this information will surprise anyone, it is worth revisiting: The largest investment—and biggest risk—most of us will face is buying a home.And like Pliny The Elder’s famous “Home is where the heart is” quote, our homes are—ideally—our emotional center, our safe places. They contain the kitchens where impromptu parties always seem to wind up. They are where we work, rest, and nourish ourselves. So it makes sense that we’d want to keep our own little pieces of autonomy in tip-top shape, no matter if we have a mortgage or if one of those kitchen celebrations was to honor paying it...
It’s hard to believe January is here so soon, bringing with it another new year. It would be an honest assessment to say I’m caught a little offguard by the “sudden” appearance of 2014—and an outright lie to say I didn’t feel the same at the start of 2013. But this year, instead of cursing an innocent month for my lack of awareness, I decided to dig-in, do a little research, and do my best to make amends with January, the sneakiest of all months.Like we were taught in grade school—with a few possible exceptions—we owe the names of the months to the Romans. They based these names on various events, like February, whose name is based on the Roman purification ritual, Februa. Other months were based on the names of their gods, like March for Mars, the god of war, and June for Juno, the goddess of marriage. And like brides who still pine for a June wedding, the meaning behind January’s name continues to have some merit even today.January is named after Janus, the Roman god of the doorway. Wait, doorway? Yeah, it was a bit of a let down the first time I read it, too. One can only imagine how Janus felt the day titles were being...

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