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December Funnies

2018 Holiday Commercial

Our Favorite Holiday Recipes

Cranberry Christmas Cake

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour see note below for gluten-free alternative
12 oz fresh cranberries 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as a leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Add the butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.

Spread in a buttered 9x13 pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very lightly browned and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into small slices.

Recipe courtesy of Barefeet in the Kitchen



4 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tablespoon whole cloves (12)
12 cinnamon sticks
1/2 gallon apple cider
2 quarts orange juice
1 cup lemon juice

Combine sugar and water and boil for 10 minutes. Add spices.

Keep the mixture warm for at least 1 hour.

Add juice and cider. Bring to a boil and serve.

We keep ours warm in a crockpot so it can be enjoyed all day long.

Recipe courtesy of Genius Kitchen


Protect Yourself & Your Property From Winter Storms

Heavy snow loads on roofs can lead to building damage and collapse. Schools, churches, commercial and residential buildings, carports and awnings can be affected. As winter storms loom, property owners and residents should be aware of the weight loads these storms may be creating, especially on flat roofs.

• Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs.

• Don’t put untrained individuals on roofs to clear snow. Falls from roofs and possible exposure to electrical wires while on the roof are serious hazards.

• Inspect roofs for leaks or structural deficiencies that may develop during the storm.

• Make certain gutters, drains and downspouts are clear of ice and debris.

• Clear snow and ice away from exhaust vents that go through exterior walls.

• Clear decks of snow to reduce stress on them.

• Clear areas around downspouts so that water from melting snow has a path to flow away from the house or building.

• Remove snow from side walls to prevent high snow mounds from pushing them in.

• Temporarily shore up and brace dipping or sagging roofs or walls.

• Improper operation of doors or windows, deflection of ceiling finishes or exposed beams, roof leaks or sprinkler heads moved from their normal positions could be signs of roof failure.

Owners and residents of flat roof buildings in particular are urged to be aware of the possible snow load danger. The threat from heavy snow weight will remain for some time after the storm ends because cold temperatures expected for the rest of the week won’t allow much melting to occur.

If you have questions about your building’s condition, contact a structural engineer or your local building official for an assessment of the conditions.

If you have suffered storm damage to your property, contact Barrett Insurance at (517) 849-1000 or 1-800-451-0717.

Article courtesy of The Hanover Insurance Group, Risk Solutions Dept.

Tips to Stay Safe During Snowmobile Season

If you live in Michigan, then you know that the weather gets cold and the snow starts falling. Some people are content to cozy up next to the fire with a good book and concentrate on staying warm. For others, though, it’s time to get excited — because it’s time to break out the snowmobiles and head to the nearest winter recreation spot.

It’s a popular activity, and for good reason: Snowmobiling allows you to explore natural areas that may be hard to access by foot (or snowshoe), and provides a different kind of excitement than skiing or hiking.

Of course, snowmobiling presents some dangers as well. And here at Barrett Insurance, we want you to make it home safely after your day in the snow. Read on for safety tips from the American Council of Snowmobile Associations — and keep in mind that following these will not only help you stay safe, but also influence equitable treatment of snowmobile access by government, agencies and landowners.

SPEED: Speed is a major factor in many snowmobile crashes. Always keep your speed slow enough to ensure that you’re in control.

ALCOHOL: Use of alcohol or any other drug that causes impairment is a leading cause of snowmobile-related fatalities. It’s best to refrain from any use at all before and during outings because of potential effects on vision, reaction time, balance and coordination. When combined with excess speed in particular, the results can be deadly.

AVALANCHE: More than 90 percent of the time, avalanches that involve people are triggered by the victims. Learn to follow avalanche safety procedures and always know the risks at all times.

RIDING AT NIGHT: Nighttime snowmobiling is fun, but extra caution should be used. Ride at slower speeds so as not to override your headlights (which generally illuminate your path for about 200 feet). Faster speeds could mean that you have little or no time to react to an obstacle in your path.

ROADWAYS: Always keep an eye out for vehicles, as many trails are located alongside roadways and can cross over them. Be sure to stop fully at all stop signs and unmarked road crossings.

CLOSED AREAS: Areas may be closed to snowmobiles due to hazardous conditions, wintering wildlife, non-motorized recreation or by landowner request. It’s important to honor these closures for safety purposes and to help protect access to other riding areas.

While it’s extremely important to follow these tips for your personal safety, it’s also vital to encourage others to snowmobile safely as well. Helping to educate others will not only promote safety for all snowmobilers, but also protect the sport’s image as well.

Whether you’re a new rider or have been on the trails for years, ask yourself if you could be riding more safely. There are many more winters to come, and we want you to be able to enjoy as many of them as possible!

Holiday Countdown

Christmas Day (December 25, 2018)

Kwanza (Decmeber 26, 2018)

New Years Day (January 1, 2019)

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