Trib Tips

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Mother Nature unabashedly rolled out the white carpet this week and crescendoed with frigid Fahrenheits. We can scold the cold, or put our best boot forward and slide into the season.

Here are some tips to keep from shouting “no” at the snow.

Wander Winterfest

Events are in high gear at various venues in downtown Grand Haven this weekend.

Check out the Cardboard Sled Race, dance at the Luau tent or plunge into the Grand River. Visit winterfestmi.org for a full schedule.

A Trib Tip to remember: Hop the Harbor Transit shuttle to avoid the parking squeeze. The shuttle will make a continuous loop from downtown to Mulligan's Hollow and the Tri-Cities Family YMCA. The cost is $1 per person.

Take to the Trails

Besides snowmobiling, cross-country skiing is my No. 1 way to spend a winter day. Or evening.

And that's the best part about Pigeon Creek Park. Besides 10 miles of groomed cross-country trails, you can delight in the night with three miles of lighted trails. Added bonus — the sledding hill is illuminated, too.

If you're a first-timer and want to try before you buy, the newly renovated Pigeon Creek Lodge offers cross-country ski and snowshoe rental.

Lodge hours are 4-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1-10 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Call the park's 24-hour hotline at 616-738-9531 for up-to-date conditions.

Pigeon Creek Park is located in Olive Township on Stanton Street between 128th and 120th avenues.

Nice for ice

Before you venture out skiing or anywhere else in these temps, you may need to scrape your windshield. Or maybe not.

Try this tricky timesaver: Mix three parts vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Coat your windshield before you go to bed at night. This magic mixture will keep your glass ice-free.

If you forgot and frost has already formed, swap out the vinegar for rubbing alcohol for a quick ice-melter on the cheap.

Whatever you do, don't pour hot water on your windshield. You'll have a perfectly clear view of the road if you do — as in no glass. The temperature extremes can shatter the glass.

Curbside canvas

Tired of staring at all that white stuff outside your window? Pick a palette and color your world.

Simply mix a few drops of food coloring with water in spray and squirt bottles. You can tint the liquid as light or as dark as you choose.

Spray a yellow sun, squirt the rays, then add a light blue water and beach scene. Heck, you can even spray yourself a red, orange and green beach ball and a beach towel of your choosing.

Let your creativity be the blizzard. American flag? Cartoon characters? A family portrait in stick fashion? Arctic abstract?

These scenes work best if you stand on your plowed drive or sidewalk and spray into the yard so your footprints don't muck up your design.

Snuff your sniffles

If wandering the winter wonderland leaves you sniffling, try this concoction: Mix a teaspoon of honey and one-quarter teaspoon of cinnamon. Slurping this sweetness twice a day for three days may just knock your cold back outside where it belongs. Worked for me!

Honey and cinnamon have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that help snuff your sniffles.

Have some favorite apps, household hints or savings secrets of your own you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you. E-mail your suggestions to Marie Havenga at mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com. Include your name, address and phone number. You may also snail-mail ideas to: Trib Tips, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417; or call 616-847-2628.

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