Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tools of the Trade

When my husband and I first got married we went up to Kennebunkport Maine for a weekend vacation.   I was excited to be able to shop at the outlet stores on our way home.  My husband insisted we visit Black & Decker where he bought a set of multi-sized screwdrivers.  I was less than excited than he was.   I preferred the clothing outlets but he insisted we would need these in our newly established home.  

My father-in-law collected all types of nails and screws.  His motto was you never know when you may need to find one.   They were both always prepared for household fixes.  Through the years (married 34 ) we have accumulated many more "necessary" tools and this has benefitted "do it yourself" repairs.   

I know this has been a time and money saver and the screwdrivers have outlasted any outfits I bought that day.  Although I still prefer clothes shopping I have learned, over the years, that there are times when you DO need the "right tools".    I have put together a list of essential tools for today's homeowner below.  In addition,  yesterday's Slate had a list of "must have" DIY tools  if you are planning your next shopping venture. 

Wendy is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Needham.  She raised 3 kids who did scouting and as a volunteer leader learned the motto "Always be prepared."   She now appreciates this saying and as such is always prepared with the best tools to help her clients when buying and selling real estate.  She welcomes referrals and invites you to visit her website at or contact her directly if you would like to learn more about local real estate in the Metrowest Boston or Mashpee/New Seabury area.  

Homeowner toolkit essentials:
Allen wrench 
Ball-end Allen wrenches
Box wrench 
Brads, bolts, screws, nails, and spikes, various sizes
Channel-lock pliers (water pump pliers)
Cordless drill/screwdriver
Curved claw hammer 
Digging spade
Duct tape 
Extendable-handle rake
Glue gun 
Level (2-inch with aluminum housing) Locking long-nose pliers 
Magnetic tack hammer
Needle-nose pliers 
Open-end wrench
Pipe wrenches 
Portable tool box
Pruning shears 
Pry bar
Pump water vacuum (wet/dry vac)
Screwdrivers, Phillips and flathead
Socket wrench with a ratchet handle
Shears with stainless steel blades
Sheet metal screws 
Sledge hammer
Spray lubricant 
Staple gun
Strap wrench 
Tape measure
Torx screwdrivers 
Utility knife with a retractable blade
Wire cutters 
Work flashlight

Friday, August 10, 2018

Won't you be my neighbor?

When I first saw previews for the documentary about Mister Roger's Neighborhood called  "Won't You Be My Neighbor" I was hesitant to see it.  As a child, I found the show painful to watch and never enjoyed hearing his soft spoken voice.  Several of my friends saw the movie and told me it was phenomenal.  I finally saw it a few days ago and have to say I agree.  Since it is the one year anniversary of Charlottesville, I thought I would take the time to share my perspectives on this film.  

Fred Rogers was a truly conservative guy in a good way.  His show was very progressive when it debuted in the late 60s to early 70s.  It followed the end of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement.  Rogers who initially planned to become an Evangelist Minister decided to change focus while in college and  dedicate his life to the betterment of children.  As I sat through the film,  I thought about life in America today vs. life during the time of the show.  He touched upon the lives of thousands of children and helped create a world that was both positive and inclusive for all.  

When I grew up my Dad always said "children should be seen but not heard".  One of the key teachings of Fred Rogers was that children's voices should be heard.  He believed children were very valuable members of society and did what he could to embrace their conversation.  He encouraged open communication and wanted them to feel comfortable sharing their ideas.  I personally tend to agree with this viewpoint and often countered my Dad as I raised my own family.  

In my current profession,  we are bound to comply with fair housing and ethic laws.  Many of the current fair housing regulations were a result of the Civil Rights movement of the 60's.   A big part of Mister Rogers teaching was inclusion and diversity.    The ideas of Mister Rogers neighborhood reflected these values.  Fortunately for me and my brother,  my parents were strong advocates of ethics and also shared these.  

Mister Rogers wanted to promote this movement from the ground up by educating our children.   In a world where divisiveness is spoken daily, he has even more significance today.   Education at the early age needs to be a priority.  As an advocate for public schools I think better funding should be an absolute.   In a public school system, children are exposed to a wider diversified pool of academics and peers.  A recent opinion piece in this week's NYT echoes my fears for the future of our children as our culture continues to become more divisive.  If you haven't had a chance to see this movie,  I truly recommend it and although dated perhaps we should rekindle this show for the next generation.

Wendy is a realtor with Coldwell Banker, Needham.  She enjoys helping clients buy, rent and sell homes and appreciates referrals.  For more information please visit her at, or on her facebook page @wendybcb.  

(Coincidentally, although I will not discuss the personal affairs of Thomas Jefferson, my Dad loved Charlottesville and was a huge supporter of many of the positive achievements of TJ, The University of Virginia and his home at Monticello).