Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Learning To Drive At A Driving School Can Save Time And Money!

There are many types of driving schools available today.  Although some states require drivers training before new drivers under the age of 18 can obtain their drivers license, a good driving school can also be a wise investment.  It's no secret that most insurance companies have identified qualified drivers training for insurance discounts.  The reason is that new drivers can be certain to learn and understand the laws of the road prior to getting out alone or with friends. 

In many states, a good driving school also can be certified by the state to administer the driving test.  This means less time is wasted in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles! 

Although the drivers handbook can explain the traffic laws clearly and can be studied, it takes real life practice to become comfortable with all the traffic and safety laws.  Driving Schools exist to give the new driver the opportunity to gain experience and build a foundation of real, behind the wheel knowledge. 

There are many different types of driving schools.  New driver schools are by for the most popular.  Specialty schools however are available to train drivers for different situations.  These schools include defensive driving, anger management driving, advanced driving courses, big rig truck driving, motorcycle driving and more.  Each offer a different and important skill set to the learner. 

Driving schools are more than just driving around with an instructor.  Quality driving schools feature study materials and some even study time. 

Defensive and advanced driving schools train people for a much more dynamic driving abilities.  These may include evasive driving techniques like hard stopping to change direction of your auto quickly,  These classes and training are not for beginners but for specialized careers and those who are interested in taking their driving abilities to the next level.  These classes usually include classroom and driving track training and last a day to several days depending on the depth of information to be taught.

There are also specialty driving schools like those that teach truck driving.  These classes are focused more on the student obtaining enough road time and knowledge to become a truck driver.  These schools focus on the career aspect of their training and work to provide all the information necessary for the student to take and pass all state certification driving tests. 

Another specialty driving school focuses on motorcycle drivers training.  Unlike most driving schools, most motorcycle drivers training teach a much more aggressive safety aspect.  This is no doubt due to the seriousness of accidents involving motorcycles.

So in the end, driving school training can benefit almost anyone of any age.  From the newest, almost ready to drive teen to those of us interested in a truck driving career, there's a driving school suited to the needs of everyone.  Driving schools deliver the skills and knowledge that not only can save on auto insurance but also save a life.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Learn Knitting's 6 Yarn Secrets

Learn Knitting's 6 Yarn Secrets

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There is nothing like a good yarn, so the story goes! All jokes aside, learning any skill or craft takes time, time you should be devoting to finding out all about it.  To learn knitting is no different. Just getting the hang of holding both needles at once, or working with a cable needle, or just perfecting your knit stitch and purl stitch, can take a long time.

learn knitting, how to knit, knitting, crafts, ebooks

Article Body:
Copyright 2006 Alice Seidel

There is nothing like a good yarn, so the story goes! All jokes aside, learning any skill or craft takes time, time you should be devoting to finding out all about it.

To learn knitting is no different.  Just getting the hang of holding both needles at once, or working with a cable needle, or just perfecting your knit stitch and purl stitch, can take a long time.

And that's ok; nobody said you have to know it all immediately.

Along the way, however, it is fun to delve into all the secondary ideas and information.  Knowing just a little bit about yarn can go a long way!

This article will walk you through *6* yarn secrets; intrigues for even the "craftiest" of knitters.

Secret #1: Always know what you are knitting with! This may sound too simple to be true, but you would be surprised.

Most projects will be knit with "classic" yarns. These are worsted or sport weight, wool, and cotton.  All the rest are merely variations on a theme.

If you have a hankering for something fun fur or ribbon-y, eyelash, or wispy lace; save that thought until you know knitting well!!

Secret #2: When buying yarn, always buy by yardage, and not by weight.  This is one I didn't even know when first starting out!

Yarns, like people, are of different weights; they can vary all over the place.  But, it is the length that is important with each skein; it should be clearly marked and if it is not, then ask for that information.

Secret #3: Always, always, buy enough yarn at one time, for your knitting project!  Do not expect to go back to the store two months from now and find the exact color yarn you bought initially.

Yarns are dyed in lots, and when a yarn store runs out of a particular color, they will order it again; but, the dye lot will be different and the subtlety in the color will be very apparent; take my word for it!

So, if you want that pink sweater to look uniformly pink, just buy the yarn, all the yarn!

And check to see that all the "lot #'s" are the same. And, I will always buy that extra skein, and have never been disappointed.

Secret #4:   Don't know what to do with all those odd- balls?  (And I'm not talking about your relatives, now.)

Well, let's see, you could knit a few placemats, baby washcloths, mittens, coasters, bookmarks, Christmas ornaments, sachets, doll clothes, knitted pins or fancy little handbags, buttons, flowers, tea cozies, table runners, fluffy wristbands (little girls love these!), a cat collar or dog sweater, a scarf or afghan jumble, and if you can think up anything else, knit away!

Secret #5: Get organized!  This is one of my best- kept secrets.  Only, not anymore.

Record all of your knitting projects.  A simple spreadsheet, or word processor, will do the trick.

Save your labels!  This way, when you are finished with your knitting, you can input all the necessary information in order to knit it again, or pass it along to a fellow knitter!

There are even software programs available now, like Needle Trax, to help you keep all your knitting projects organized with simple point and click technology.

Secret #6: A true knitter, like any good craftster, always has too much of everything, and not enough space to hold it all!

Thank goodness for plastic, I always knew there was a purpose for it.

Storage bins come in many varieties, so visit your local shops or even eBay for the best prices around.

Once you have enough storage bins available, then you can sort to your hearts' content!  And you will love feeling so harmonious!

Harmony begets creativity every time; so with these *6* yarn secrets, there is no excuse anymore for not being your knitting best.

May your knitting basket always be full!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Laundry Tips From 'The Clothing Doctor'

The average American household does one load of laundry per day -; that's a lot of time in the laundry room. Many people take pride in the appearance of their families' wardrobe, but all that time in the laundry room might be a waste.

Here are some tips on when to spend time and when to save it while doing laundry:

Spend Time: Hand Washing

If you have to hand wash a garment, it is because it's delicate and needs special care. Let all the water drain out of the basin before moving a fragile or loosely knitted garment. Don't squeeze delicate fabrics in a hurry to remove water; they may stretch or tear.

Save Time: Use Shorter Cycles

Ninety-eight percent of soil comes out in the first two minutes of a wash cycle. Your everyday clothing, without stains or ground-in soil, only needs about six minutes of laundry time, so using shorter wash cycles can save water, time and your dark clothing from fading.

Spend Time: Wash Clothes in Smaller Loads

Don't overload your washer. You may get more clothes in, but they won't come out clean. If a washer is too full, clothes won't agitate or rinse enough. Make sure clothing is equally distributed around the tub of the washer to keep the load balanced during spin cycles.

Save Time: Pouring, Spilling and Dissolving Detergent

Most detergents require you to wait for the washer to fill and detergent to dissolve before adding clothes. That's two minutes per load and more than 12 hours a year spent waiting. The OxiClean Detergent Ball sits in your washer, ready and waiting at all times. Drop it in once and it lasts for 25 loads of laundry - eliminating time spent adding detergent every time you do a load.

Due to the advanced technology of OxiClean Detergent, you won't have to worry about leaving residue on your clothes during the rinse cycle. The low suds detergent rinses clean every time.

Sometimes taking extra time is the best thing you can do to keep your wardrobe looking great, but other times it's unnecessary. Knowing when to spend time washing and when to save it can keep clothes looking their best while giving you more time to show them off.

Steve Boorstein, known as "The Clothing Doctor," is a third-generation dry cleaner and the author of "The Ultimate Guide to Shopping and Caring for Clothing." He has appeared on "The View," "Good Day New York" and the CBS news.  - NU

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Last-Minute Shoppers Rejoice: The Gift Card Can Save You

Despite their best intentions to finish holiday shopping early, many consumers end up waiting until the last minute: One in five people anticipate they won't finish their holiday shopping until the week before Christmas or until Christmas Eve, according to a survey conducted by Blockbuster.

The gift card, the quintessential last-minute gift, continues to be a popular choice among both givers and receivers.

A survey conducted by Deloitte & Touche found that 80 percent of adults received at least one gift card last year, with most averaging 3.2 gift cards during the holiday season. Additionally, a majority of consumers indicated in a 2004 National Retail Federation holiday survey that they would like to receive gift cards for the holidays.

Most retailers have gift cards available for last-minute shoppers. Entertainment, specifically movies and games, is one area where gift-givers are not likely to go wrong.

This year, Blockbuster is offering several holiday-themed gift cards at its 4,500 locations across the U.S. Seasonal cards include $25 and $15 gift cards, ideal for last-minute gifts for the baby sitter or a co-worker, while a five-pack of $5 cards lets you stock up on stocking stuffers or quick gifts for kids. You also can choose your own amount on gift cards with seasonal designs, such as snowflakes and gift boxes.

Additionally, all Blockbuster gift cards come with their own carriers, letting you address them to your loved ones instead of having to buy a greeting card.

With its large inventory of movie rentals, new DVDs and popular video games, the company is a boon to last-minute shoppers looking for gifts for several people on their list. For ultimate procrastinators, most Blockbuster stores are open every day of the year, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.   - NU

Friday, January 27, 2012

Know the Facts Before You Hire Home Help

As Americans work longer hours and live more active lives, more homeowners are turning to cleaning-service companies for help with housework.

Choosing a company can be daunting, as there are nearly 22,000 cleaning-service options in the United States, ranging from self-employed housekeepers to nationally franchised chains. And few homeowners are aware of the legal issues that come with hiring a home service worker.

For example, whether you're paying your neighbor's son to mow the lawn or an independent housekeeper to clean, you may be liable if they become injured on your property. While homeowners' policies may cover medical costs, claims may affect future renewals and premiums. Also, most homeowner policies do not cover lost wages or disability.

Larger providers such as Merry Maids may be more costly than independent home service workers, but they can offer peace of mind and prevent substantial costs in the future. Merry Maids, the nation's largest home-cleaning service provider, diminishes the risk of injury by following cleaning procedures that are in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. Merry Maids professionals also carry workers' compensation coverage, which protects homeowners in case of an injury on their property.

To protect yourself from a personal injury suit or other liability, you should:

* Hire vendors that carry workers' compensation insurance.

* Reduce the risk of injury on your property by hiring professional services that comply with OSHA standards.

* Be wary of referral agencies. They may be professional service companies, but they may not directly employ the individuals who clean your home. There is no guarantee of supervision, employee training, proper equipment or supplies, insurance coverage or compliance with immigration regulation or OSHA standards.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kitchen Tables - Not Just For Dinner Anymore

Kitchen tables are the throwback from yesteryear.  From a time when people would congregate in the kitchen to enjoy the company and warmth.  To all sit down at the table and enjoy the daily feast with the family.  They would all sit together to enjoy the meal and discuss all the events of the day.  Today, the kitchen table is making a comeback.  It may be the family gathering for a meal or friends gathered to chat and snack along the way.

Kitchen tables in a variety of sytles and shapes are now being made to fit almost every space, budget and lifestyle.  From the farmhouse traditional cermaic tile top to the elegant granite countertop tables, all are ready in a variety of sizes and styles.  You can buy a durable laminated table top or go for the timeless look of wood.  There are many wood types to choose from and a variety of finishes available for you today.

The table was originally a place for family meals but has since become a place where people can just socialize around food.  Friends come to visit are looking for that home type feel that comes with sitting and chatting in the kitchen.  This arrangement also keeps the cook involved with the guests and allows everyone to join in the work. Food preparation is indeed a time of friendship and socializing.

You want to have a table that is inviting to your friends and family.  You also want your table to be sized the way you need it.  Too large a table isn't as inviting as a small one. Make sure you have enough space for your family and a few extras just in case.  And remember your table is more then just a place to eat your meal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Isn’t It Interesting That You Are Never Bored When Your Head Is In The Refrigerator?

At the age of 70 I retired. Happy days were ahead. I could do what I want, when I want and if I want to do nothing that’s okay too.  I watched daytime TV, did the crossword puzzles, read the newspapers, and kept in touch with friends and family through email. I played some games on the computer and checked out the internet. Of course, I ate a lot because the food was there. When I did wander out, it was the mall or the supermarket where I could buy lots of goodies to keep me happy. When you’re retired, wandering aimlessly through the stores, spending money foolishly is not what you want to do. So what do you do?    I didn’t want to be one of those old people sitting around waiting to die. I could see myself falling into a depression. Would you say I needed a new challenge in life!

The day of awakening came with a phone call from a friend.  “The Parks Department has a Community Center nearby; they have all kinds of classes; let’s go check it out.”  Now, I thought, what could I possibly do there? What I did find there was a low impact aerobics class that would help me take off the weight I had managed to put on.  I joined the class, had a good time and met some really nice people.  They were all discussing the line dance class they had joined and what fun it was.  When I was about 10 years old, my brother who was five years older than I, used to practice his jitterbug on me and I grew up dancing during the wonderful era of the big bands. I didn’t get to dance much later in life and forgot how much I enjoyed it,

With a bit of trepidation I joined the line dance class.  It wasn’t just country music anymore. They taught Mambo, Cha-Cha, Waltz, and I was in heaven.  The only problem, since I was sure I knew how to dance, was thinking this was going to be soooooo easy!  It turned out that I was the only newbie in the class and I also realized there’s no partner to lead me around the floor. At first I thought I must have turned stupid in my old age, but then realized that line dancing is mostly memory and my memory was not too sharp anymore. I was going to stick with it! The dances are a number of sets that are repeated during the dance and you have to be aware of the sequence, what steps come next.  Fortunately, I did not take myself too seriously.  Someone once said “dance as if no one is looking” so that’s exactly what I did. I laughed a lot, persevered and promised myself I would not give up. I finally did it! It all fell into place.

The moral of the story….. dance class is much less expensive than doctors and psychiatrists; it gives you a natural high! I lost weight; I lost inches; I started to eat healthier when I saw the weight loss and my memory has improved tremendously. I’m exercising my brain by learning something new with each dance. I learned so well, that at the age of 75, the Parks & Recreation Department offered me a job teaching line dancing. My students always compliment me on my youthful looks and demeanor; something I don’t mind hearing.

I just read that Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected.  Isn’t it funny that with all the aches and pains that come with age, I don’t feel a bit of pain when I dance?  It must be that ‘natural high’.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is Your Partner An Alcoholic?

If you are reading this then you are concerned at the possibility and want to know wheat you can do.

Ask yourself these questions?

How important is alcohol to your partner?
How many drinks a day does your partner have?
Does your partner drink alone?
Does your partner drink in the mornings?
Is there less money left at the end of the week than there used to be?

The answers to these questions will help you to face up to the unpleasant fact that your husband or wife has an incurable disease.

You cannot do anything unless your partner also realizes that he or she is an alcohol addict.

Alcohol is addictive. You will find lots of people who will argue with this statement but alcohol fits all the definitions of a harmful and addictive drug;

1. You need to take more and more of it to get the same effect
2. Your body becomes physically dependent on alcohol.
3. People die from alcohol abuse

An alcoholic is someone who has become physically dependent on alcohol. Alcoholism is a permanent disease. It cannot be cured. An ex-alcoholic is simply one who has not had alcohol for a long time. If the ex-alcoholic has one drink they are hooked again and have to go through the whole drying out process again.

Treatment for alcoholism is available, but is expensive, because it means putting the alcoholic into an alcohol free residential treatment center. This will only work if the patient wants to be well again. Your partner will never be free of the addiction, he or she will always be an alcoholic. The treatment center will teach your husband or wife how to live without alcohol.

Alcoholism treatment centers allow the alcoholic to live in a supportive and alcohol free environment while giving up the drug. Psychological advice is available and group therapy sessions help many recovering alcoholics.

Alcoholics Anonymous are one group that holds support meetings for alcoholics. AA has groups in most towns and cities in most countries and many recovering alcoholics find the group sessions to be an essential part of STAYING a recovered alcoholic.

Given the toxic nature of alcohol, if the substance was discovered today, it would never be licensed as a drug or food. It is only the entrenched nature of the alcohol industry and the fact that so many jobs depend on it that make it politically unacceptable to ban alcohol. Does this sound similar to the excuses made by opium producing countries?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is Your Laundry Room Costing You Money?

The price of energy is going up all the time, and you're probably looking for ways to save on your house bills.  As it turns out, your least favorite room may be one of your biggest energy hogs.  I'm talking about the laundry room.

Now, you can save all sorts of money if you're willing to stop washing your clothes, but I'm guessing you're not looking to go that route (and all the folks you work with appreciate that).  Let's take a look at some more practical ways you can save money in the laundry room.

1. Avoid washers and dryers with lots of fancy features.

If you're shopping for a new washer and dryer, stick to the basics.  More expensive machines may have extra cycles, electronic control panels, and other fancy features, but they don't wash clothes any better than basic units.  Those perks usually just add to the operating cost of the machine.  (Not to mention, more doohickeys means more doohickeys that can break, requiring the hiring of a repairman...)

2. Use cold water.

A hot water load uses four times as much energy as a cold water load.  You may want to do your whites in hot, but towels and linens are fine in cold.  Actually, the majority of your clothes are fine done in cold water, unless they're very dirty (just make sure to use liquid detergent, as some powders only dissolve in very hot water). 

3. Don't use "warm-rinse" cycles.

Many of the washers on the market today feature warm-rinse cycles.  According to experts (yes, there really are laundry experts), you never need warm water to rinse your clothes, and you can waste $50+ a year on this feature.

4.  Nice day?  Dry your clothes outside.

Hanging a clothesline between two trees won't cost you anything beyond the initial investment of a package of clothespins from the dollar store.

5. Clean the lint trap.

Assuming suggestion #4 didn't fly for you, and you're sticking to your dryer, at least make sure you clean out the lint trap after every load.  The dryer actually has to work harder, thus using more energy, when the trap is full.

6.  Don't use the maximum dryer setting.

Unless you're doing a load of towels or other hard-to-dry items, don't use the dryer's maximum setting.  A middle setting (between minimum and maximum) works fine for most clothes.  In addition, it saves you pennies a load, which adds up to hundreds of dollars over the life of your dryer.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Is a Lift Chair Right for You?

If you are currently debating on the decision to purchase a lift chair, there are a few determining factors that may help you to make your decision. Deciding if you need a lift chair does not have to be an overwhelming choice. If you think you may benefit from a lift chair, you should think about the many ways that it could help you in your everyday life.

If you currently have trouble standing from a sitting position without help from others, then a lift chair can assist you in gaining your independence. By slowly raising you to your feet, a lift chair takes away the need to have someone with you when you want to get up. It takes the strain off those who would help you, and lets you be more independent and mobile, because when you want to get up from your chair, you simply push the button to raise the seat, and you are slowly raised into a standing position.
You may also benefit from a lift chair in the aspect that it helps you to sit without help. If you are normally off balance, or have a fear of falling while trying to sit, then a lift chair can alleviate those worries. When you are ready to sit in your chair, you simply back up to the seat and push the decline button. Your lift chair will then slowly lower you into a sitting position. You will not need help from others to sit, and you will not have to worry about becoming off balance or potentially falling back into the chair. The lift chair does all the work of sitting you down slowly and without fear.

Some people even use their lift chairs for sleeping. There are models available that fully recline into a laying position, so that you can sleep very comfortably. When you are ready to get up, you simply push the button to sit up, and the back of the chair, as well as the footrest, will lower you back into a sitting position. From there you can push the incline button to raise into a standing position, and get up if you wish.
Lift chairs have given millions of users their independence again. Those who once thought that they would always need help in sitting and standing have been pleasantly surprised at the mobility that they have received in using a lift chair. No matter what the reason that you normally need help, whether it is due to age, arthritis, or injury, a lift chair can help you to regain your confidence and your independence. With the many styles and colors available, a lift chair can be found that will match any home décor, so there are no worries of it looking out of place.

Lift chairs are designed to help you regain your independence and your mobility. If knowing that you can get up without help is important to you, then a lift chair would be a great benefit.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Inspiring home designs

So when you redesign your home, what exactly should you do to it? If you’re short on inspiration, here are a few ideas to get you started.

The place where many people like to really go to town with their design ideas is in babies’ and children’s rooms – you can paint them bright colours, do imaginative pictures of fantasy environments, draw pictures of the child’s favourite characters from books and TV, and so much more besides. If you do this, why not let the child join in with the painting and show you what they want, with you just being there to help make their decoration dreams come true. However, one thing to be careful of is to keep redecorating their room as they get older – you don’t want them to be embarrassed to bring around friends when they’re a teenager because of their babyishly coloured room.

Another idea could be to make an ‘outdoors’ house, taking inspiration from your garden in how to design your home. This means lots of greens and blues, lots of plants, outdoor fragrances, lots of windows – a real outdoor feel indoors.

Indeed, the best way to design a home yourself is often to just pick a theme and take it as far as it will go. I know a couple with a ‘space house’, complete with portraits of rockets and black ceilings with painted stars – it sounds silly, but it’s really interesting to look at. Whatever you’re passionate about, make your house show it.

Don’t forget, though, that redecorating doesn’t have to be all about tearing things down and buying new stuff. You can get a long way with a few posters, ornaments, or just reorganising or repainting your furniture. You really don’t need to break the bank and hire a handyman to get your ideal home, as a little work can go a long way.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inspecting A Home's Sprinkler System-Before You Buy

Many homebuyers know to thoroughly inspect a home's foundation, electrical system and plumbing before agreeing to buy a house. But experts say it's important to check out what's outside a home's walls as well.

For instance, taking a few steps to inspect a property's sprinkler system could keep you from waking up to a problem down the road. Old sprinkler systems or systems in ill repair are vulnerable to a variety of problems-from leaks to blockage. These problems can harm the health of your lawn and even cause serious damage to your yard and landscaping. To help homeowners avoid buying someone else's outdoor irrigation issue, Dave Johnson, an irrigation expert at Rain Bird, offers these tips:

• Find and check the automatic sprinkler timer and make sure it is plugged into an unobstructed and visibly safe power supply in a weather-safe environment. An improperly placed electrical timer box is more susceptible to an electrical short, which can wreak havoc on an automatic irrigation system.

• Test the timer to make sure that each individual sprinkler zone can be turned on manually from the timer itself.

• After the system has been turned on for a few minutes, stroll around the yard to check for any moisture in unusual spots: exposed pipes that may be prone to cracking, major brown spots around sprinkler heads, saturated turf or soil, sick and diseased plants.

• Open and close each individual valve, checking for moisture caused by cracks or broken seals in the pipes or exterior casing. Most valves contain a screw or knob on top that can be easily turned by hand.

• Turn on each watering zone and check each sprinkler head. Any head that does not pop up or otherwise operates improperly may need to be replaced. It is also possible that a sprinkler head that does not pop up is a sign of a problem with the water pressure, and may indicate that there is a leak in the system somewhere.

• If the system is connected to a rain sensor, test the sensor by first turning on one of the zones, and then giving the rain sensor a good soaking with a garden hose. If the irrigation system does not stop, there may be a problem.

• Ask the sellers if they have a maintenance record, or a receipt from the last time they had the system winterized by a professional.

• If you are not comfortable conducting an inspection of the sprinkler system yourself, find an area landscape professional to do a routine inspection.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Injury Prevention For Parents: How To Prevent Injuries to Your Kids

The first step to preventing injuries to your child is to take general preventative measures. For instance, to prevent your child from falling out of your house’s windows, install guards on all windows higher than the first floor. In addition, children must never be unattended in or near a bathtub, swimming pool, ocean, or any other body of water. Not only water, but also its nemesis—fire, can pose a threat to children. Therefore, smoke detectors should be tested once each month, and fresh batteries placed in them a minimum of once every year. Accidents happen. To prepare for emergencies in your home, post emergency numbers nearby your phones, and keep stocks of first aid supplies in your home. To prevent the likelihood that you would need to phone those emergency numbers, consider buying child safety products from a child safety store.

In addition to taking preventative steps to safeguard your child, you can also keep dangerous objects away from him or her. Every day in America, a handgun kills a child, so you could consider keeping all guns out of your home. Furthermore, youngsters should never be capable of reaching tiny objects. Also, tiny food items, hard candies and balloons can pose threats to children’s wellbeing, so keep them away from your infants and toddlers. Lastly, children should be unable to reach products such as medicines, matches and lighters, cleaners and cosmetics. Child safety products from a child safety store can help you to keep these products outside your child’s reach.

Lastly, injuries can be prevented when your child leaves the house and becomes mobile. Whenever you son or daughter rides in a vehicle, it should become automatic for him or her to buckle the seatbelt. Secondly, when riding a bicycle, skateboards or inline skates, your child must always wear a helmet. When skateboarding or inline skating, safety gear such as wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads can further help to prevent your child from becoming injured. Even when your son or daughter travels on foot, safety measures should be followed. Teach your child to look left, right, and then left again, before crossing any street.

While pain can be beneficial in telling our brain that something is amiss with our body, it is never enjoyable. Injuries can be particularly traumatic for children, as they oftentimes cannot determine how serious an injury is. Nevertheless, taking specific

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Infidels And The Cheaters Who Love Them

Copyright 2006 X & Y Communications

Have you ever happened across the Jerry Springer Show (I know this group can't actually be Tivoing it or anything…too high class a crowd) and noticed how people who are cheaters can’t seem to venture too far from home?  I mean, the “other partner” always seems to be drawn from a very shallow pool of best friends, sisters, brothers, father-in-laws, etc.  All the time.

If you are going to cheat, at least get far enough from the nest that you at might have a fighter’s chance at not getting caught.  Right?  And good grief, does anyone ever think about how awkward the family time at Thanksgiving is going to be when all of the dust clears?

For the record, no.  Cheaters don't think about any of this stuff.  There is no thought process there.  Just the occasional adrenaline rush.


Practically speaking, cheaters are by definition non-thinkers.  Consideration of details like process and consequences generally cannot be bothered with at all, let alone managed effectively in these situations.  So then, it’s not surprising that cheaters tend to get found out…and lose.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not discounting the concept of someone wanting out of a dismal relationship so badly that they may actually want to get caught cheating, just so the burden of ending the relationship is on the other person.  I'm sure that enters into it often, actually.

Heavy stuff.  Or should I say, pathetic stuff.

Obviously I ruminate upon this sort of thing a good bit.  I should, after all it’s my job to.  But still, the concept of cheating on a partner in a committed relationship always causes me to rehearse the line, “what goes around comes around” just one more time.


Well, it’s simple.  We as human beings have a pattern.  Whether we like it or not, we tend to be painfully predictable.  At the very fiber of our being, what makes up our moral core is going to dominate…every time.

So it follows logically that if you choose to cheat, you are going to live the life of a cheater.

Somebody reading this just said, “Duh.”

I couldn’t agree more.  “Duh.”  So what is up with all the cheating?  There are clear consequences to living that lifestyle, and they basically involve getting what you deserve…infidelity.  Essentially, if you build a relationship upon the premise of cheating, how can you possibly expect anything in the future but...more cheating?  It has been said that after the first time cheating happens, it is forever easier thereafter to repeat the offense.  I think there is decidedly some truth to that concept.  Once conscience is breached, the proverbial Pandora's Box is opened.

Suppose for a brief second that you are feeling bored, sick, unattracted and/or flaky toward you committed partner.  You have an affair with someone who "floats your boat" more buoyantly.  Yeah, well, both you and your new, apparently exciting friend are CHEATERS.  And should you choose to leave your committed partner for your new friend, you will both still be CHEATERS.

The takeaway here is that both YOU and your PARTNER will have built whatever you build together upon CHEATING.

Did you get that?  And guess what?  You’ll do it again.

Like it or not, cheaters indeed keep cheating.  Yours will be a relationship built upon dishonesty and lack of integrity.  How do you expect such a union to last?  Rest assured it will not.

Meanwhile, your spurned ex will be out deserving what he or she wants.  A faithful partner is a good catch.

Will you be left wallowing in the error of your ways?  Not if you deserve what you want today…and stay true to the partner you say you love.  If there are issues, work them out.  If you need to get out more together, make it happen.  And if you need to break up an exclusive relationship, do so before heading on to "greener pastures".   The proper thing to do is break off one committed relationship before starting another.  This is the only way around the cheating issue.  And yes...if you are "separated"...consider thoroughly the importance of waiting until the divorce is final before dating other people.  You are still married until that happens, and dating under these circumstances generally raises subtle doubts in the mind of those you go out with.

But for Heaven’s sake…whatever you do, don’t sleep with your brother-in-law just to make a point, okay?  It’s not going to lead to happiness.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hurricane Season Safety Lessons

With meteorologists forecasting a very active hurricane season, you may want to learn how to best prepare for an oncoming storm.

Here are tips from Geico, the National Hurricane Center and the Insurance Information Institute:

Hurricane Preparedness

• Determine escape routes and places where your family can meet.

• Know your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

• Locate a safe room in your home or the safest area in your community.

• Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact.

• Plan what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.

• Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones. Teach your children how to call 911.

• Check your insurance coverage; flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.

• Trim trees to remove un-healthy or dead limbs or branches.

Emergency Supplies

• water-one gallon daily per person for three to seven days

• food-enough for three to seven days

• nonperishable packaged or canned food/juices-foods for infants or the elderly

• nonelectric can opener

• cooking tools/fuel

• paper plates/plastic utensils

• blankets/pillows, etc.

• clothing-seasonal/rain gear/ sturdy shoes

• first-aid kit/medicines/prescription drugs

• special items for babies and the elderly

• toiletries/hygiene items/moisture wipes

• flashlight/batteries

• radio-battery-operated radio and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio. Replace the batteries every six months.

• cash-banks and ATMs may not be open for extended periods.

• keys

• photographs

• computer hard drive or laptop

• toys, books and games

• important documents-in a waterproof container including insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, etc.

• tools-keep a set with you during the storm

• vehicle fuel tanks filled

• pet care items

• proper identification/immunization records/medications

• food and water

• a carrier or cage

• muzzle and leash

Added Preparedness

• Take first-aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thrift Store Shopping Tips

If you are tired of seeing the same old clothing styles at mall department stores and boutiques, it may be time to add a little spice to your wardrobe. Rather than looking just like everyone else, thrift stores offer access to unique items not found anywhere else- at least not in the last twenty or so years! Not only are thrift store clothes relatively inexpensive, but they can also be ultra hip. If you approach it the right way, you may be able to create your very own personal style by mixing the old and the new.

When you first decide to embark on a thrift store shopping spree, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, a lot of thrift stores only take cash, so if you are used to grabbing Daddy’s credit card and going to town, you’ll have to make other arrangements. Some stores do take checks, so you might want to have your checkbook handy. Secondly, a lot of thrift stores do not have dressing rooms, so you’ll probably want to wear a light t-shirt so you can try on your finds right where you find them. And most importantly, you are probably not going to find anything that fits you absolutely perfectly. You can’t go in looking for “your size.” You will have to try on what looks promising and see if you can alter it in any way if needed.

Believe it or not, thrift stores in the hippest parts of town generally have the least hip clothes. This is because there are hundreds of people just like you who are picking through their stock of wearable items every day. If you want to find authentic vintage clothing at inexpensive prices, you’ll have to drive to the most uncool parts of town. This could mean the suburbs, and it could mean farmland, depending on where you are located. You will find, however, that it is well worth the drive, and that your treasure is definitely another woman’s trash.

Shirts are typically the easiest items to find at thrift stores, because they allow more flexibility in the fitting department. You can find some excellent western shirts in rural areas, and there are always witty t-shirts on the little boy’s racks. If you are looking for a good pair of jeans, however, you might want to check the men’s section. Thrift stores typically stock a plethora of pleated-front tapered-leg acid-washed jeans in the ladies section, so you will rarely find anything cool on those racks. However, the men’s section can be filled with surprisingly girlish slacks in interesting colors and textures. There have also been known to be great pairs of vintage Levi’s hanging in the men’s racks.

If vintage dresses are your think, you will have a field-day going through the strange fashions of yesteryear that you will find in any thrift store. Once you make your way past the obnoxious flowery Sunday dresses and the strange lime green pleated skirts, you may find one or two keepers. Don’t give up until you looked at the last one, because chances are there will be a diamond in the rough there just waiting for a little nip and tuck from your sewing machine.

Thrift stores are also an excellent place to find work clothes for a job interview or a new office job. If you’d rather save your money for more fun items, you can always replenish your work wardrobe with some inexpensive black skirts and dress shirts from the local Salvation Army or Goodwill. Work people will never know that your new suit only cost you five bucks. They’ll just be happy that you’re not wearing your favorite club get-up to the important meeting again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What To Do When Someone Dies: Tips On Organising A Funeral

When loved ones pass away, you'll want to make sure that they have the funeral they deserve. Here are the main aspects you need to consider when planning a funeral.

1. Viewing

When someone dies, family members and friend may wish to view the body of their loved one. Viewing can assist with the resolution of grief. It can help people accept that death has occurred. Each family member's viewpoint on visitation or viewing may be different, and this is a very personal decision. The best option in most cases is to leave the option of visitation open to an individual's own emotional needs. Before or shortly after death some people may be adamant that they do not wish to view the deceased, then change their mind a short time later. By presenting the option of visitation, all family members' individual emotional needs can be met.

2. Flowers, notices and memorials

In many communities it is traditional that friends and family pay their respects by sending flowers or making a donation to charity. Your local funeral director can organise flowers for you. They can also collect, record and distribute donations to charity on your behalf.

The obituary notice in a local, national or other publication announces the death and funeral details and can also become a tribute to the person who has died, by perhaps containing a verse. Some people like to place acknowledgement notices in the newspaper after the funeral, thanking people who have supported them. Some people also like to compile a book of compliments, reflections and memories about the person who has died, written by family and friends attending the service or afterwards.

You don't have to decide whether to put a memorial on the grave or on the site of the burial of ashes until after the funeral. The regulations about what kind of memorial can be put up, and when, vary considerably from place to place. Your funeral director can advise you on this and make any arrangements on your behalf.

3. Transport

You'll need to decide on the size and makeup of the cortege (the hearse and the cars following it). Other questions to consider include:

Will it be a standard, motorbike or horse-drawn hearse?
How many cars will be needed?
Where will the cortege leave from?
Will it take a special route?
Will you require wheelchairs for elderly or disabled mourners?
Where will you return to afterwards?

4. Bearing the coffin

Some families decide that they would like to bear the coffin themselves at the ceremony, instead of the funeral director's staff. Bearers may be friends, family members or colleagues of the person who has died.

5. Music

Many people now ask for specific pieces of music to be played at the service. Your Funeral Director will be able to advise you on this and make the appropriate arrangements for you.

6. Eulogies

A eulogy is when someone pays tribute to a person's life by saying a few words that will help remember that person at the service. You can prepare a speech yourself for this, or you may prefer to read a favourite poem or passage.

7. Catering

You may wish to offer guests refreshments after the funeral. You will need to decide who will provide the catering and where it will be provided. You may prefer to offer refreshments at your home or at a location close to where the service has been held.

8. Burial or cremation?

If there is no grave in existence and a new grave is required, this can be arranged directly with the cemetery or through the funeral director. New graves are expensive and the costs can increase significantly in some areas if the deceased lived outside the cemetery authority's boundary. The family organising the purchase of a new grave should know what costs are before finalising the funeral arrangements. Burials in churchyards are subject to rules and regulations of the church authority concerned. These rules are often very strict in relation to the type of headstone or memorial that can be placed on the grave following the funeral. The restrictions can also extend to what is written on the headstone. Those responsible for the funeral arrangements should be aware of what memorial restrictions are enforced before the interment takes place to avoid any unnecessary distress later on.

If you opt for cremation, this will take place shortly after the funeral committal service is over in the crematorium chapel. Each coffin is cremated individually and after each cremation the ashes are removed and kept separately so that each family receives the remains of their relative. If required these are usually available for collection the next working day and can be placed in the Garden of Remembrance at the crematorium. The ashes can also be kept by the relatives, interred in a new or existing family grave, or scattered in a place deemed as appropriate by the family or as requested by the deceased prior to death.

This is an option that will have been specified in someone's Will or prepaid funeral plan.

So these are the usual options to consider. Other possibilities can be discussed with your funeral director or funeral plan provider.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Teens: Life v. Electronics

Teens today have so much more to distract them besides their homework, the opposite sex, friends, family members, and extracurricular activities. Besides learning how to drive, teenagers are occupied with playing with an assortment of electronic gizmos including cell phones, camera phones, personal computers, MP3 players, DVD players, ipods, xboxs, digital cameras, the list goes on. Wired? You betcha…and then some. Perhaps all of this electronic gadgetry has you concerned and you are wondering just how you can extract your teen and involve them in an outside activity where they can expand their minds and refresh their bodies. Are you out of ideas? Let’s look at some options that may appeal to them and remove the worry from you.

<b>Work on the Car</b>  So, you think that a car isn’t a kid magnet as much as when you first learned how to drive? Think again. Today, kids are <i>pimping their rides</i> and expressing themselves through their cars. Custom paint, decals, blacked out windows, even faux aircraft wings are being attached to the outside of their cars. On the inside, it can be totally surreal: rear view mirrors wrapped with a studded belts, frilly seat cover trim, pushpin art attached to the headliner, decals everywhere, etc. Let them pimp your Camry or Explorer…that’ll keep them off the computer…and get <i>you</i> noticed too!

<b>Volunteer</b> Help your teen organize a group of his or her friends to clean up the neighborhood, paint an elderly neighbor’s house, teach younger kids how to ride bikes, or visit folks at the local nursing home. You remember when you were a teen and you heard the comments from your parent’s generation about kids not wanting to do anything or being “no good,” right? With a little direction, young people can do just about anything and are more than willing to help out if you believe in them. Rewards are nice too…be prepared to throw a pizza party after their time of service is over for the day.

<b>Get a Job</b> Kids who hold a job while going to school learn how to handle their money and budget their time. Limit work hours to fewer than 20 per week to ensure that their grades are not adversely affected. If your student is involved in extracurricular activities too, make sure that this time is included with the hours that they work. Maintaining good grades is essential, no job or outside activity is worth it if it takes away from their schooling.

In all cases, show your teen that you believe in him or her. As you know, parenting is much more than providing for their needs…you want to guide your child from youth toward adulthood by showing them that there is much more to life than all things electronic. So, gently disconnect your teen and get them involved with other pursuits.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Moving Home – A Stressful Time

Moving home involves a lot of work. There are also a lot of financial considerations that people generally are not used to. Engaging a solicitor, arranging the mortgage, paying for bridging finance if it is necessary, seeking the best selling price for your home, and the best buying price for the home you are moving into, all of these are very large and important transactions that cost a lot of money and may also cause you a lot of stress.

Add to this the stress of actually moving house. There may be some emotional attachment to the home you are leaving and you may find this very difficult. Then you have all the practicalities of dealing with utility companies, having mail redirected, cancelling your services and informing friends and business of the move.


And this has not even begun to consider the hassle of packing up your belongings, arranging for a removal company, and transit insurance if you think you need it, and unpacking everything at the other end. It is really no wonder that so many people consider moving house such a major and traumatic experience.

However, if you take a step back, the situation is really not that bleak. Most people end up moving home for very positive reasons. These will include getting a new job, or moving to a bigger property. Therefore, as well as all the stress there is also a lot of joy and excitement involved.

<b>Get Sorted</b>

You can also use the move as a chance to clear out your possessions. Look through everything before you start packing and decide what things you do not want to take with you to your new address. If there are a lot of clothes you can pack them up and give them to a charity shop. You should think about getting boxes and old newspapers gathered up. Boxes will be available from local shops and you can save your newspapers for wrapping breakables.

If you are moving everything yourself, you can rent a van to help you out. Make sure it is a suitable size. If the van is too small you’ll find yourself doing multiple trips, and if it is too large you may not be able to park, or even drive it. You should be comfortable with driving the van so give it a try before loading it up to make sure. The alternative is always to hire a professional removal company.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Little Secrets

Little secrets can be useful. An example is knowing that hotel mattresses are less worn and more comfortable on the side away from the phone. Or knowing that listening to Mozart's sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448 for ten minutes can raise your IQ 9 points.

They can also be just interesting. Did you know that the furthest point from the center of the earth isn't Everest, but the top of Mount Chimborazo, in Ecuador (due to the bulge in the planet near the equator)? Here are some little secrets that are a little of both.

- Find money in bibles. Hotel owners report that visitors tuck money in the bedside bible, and forget to take it with them. Check those bibles!

- Find treasure in hotel rooms. Treasure hunters have found that businessmen take off and hide their wedding rings in hotel rooms, before they head to the bars. They sometimes forget them when they check out. Where would you hide something? There may already be something there.

- Reduce debt with a letter. In a truly tough situation, write a nice letter to creditors, asking them if they would accept 30% (or 50%, or whatever) of your balance as payment in full, if you can raise the cash before filing bankruptcy. They know they'll get nothing if you file. I have seen more than one person eliminate a large chunk of their debt in this way. A lawyer or "representative" can write it for you, and they may pay more attention.

- To always have something interesting to say, train yourself to look at things from other perspectives. What would the Buddha say about this? How would a Martian view it? What's the opposite perspective? The point is to see what interesting ideas result. Do this until it's a habit, and you'll always have something interesting to add to a conversation.

- Book two flights to save big bucks. When I was going to Ecuador, I checked several websites that claimed "cheap international airfare." The cheapest from Traverse City, Michigan (where I lived at the time) to Quito, Ecuador, was $1720. Out of curiosity, I checked Miami to Quito: only $404. Traverse City to Miami: $299. $703 total! Book two separate flights and save more than $1000! The discount sites aren't set up to check in this way for you, so you have to do this on your own.

- If you have good credit, you don't have to pay annual fees on credit cards. Call and ask for the fee to be removed. I first did this years ago. On three out of four cards, they dropped the fee. For the fourth, I dropped the card. In fact the threat of closing the account is what got the fees dropped on the others. There are many of these little secrets that credit card companies don't want you to know.

- An energy transfer motivation secret. Talk about anything you're passionate about, and then transfer the energy created to what you need to work on. If talking politics gets you going, for example, do that, and then work on your goal. It's even more effective if you can connect the two in your mind. If making money is your goal, for example, you could tell yourself, "With more money, I can find ways to change things politically."

- In a book of little health secrets I read that tee tree oil might remove a growth I'd had for ten years on my nose. I applied a drop to the lump each day. In six weeks, the lump was gone. Coincidence? I don't think so. I later had a larger growth on my neck. Unfortunately, for several years, I couldn't remember what I had used the first time. When I finally found my old notes, I used tea tree oil again, and the lump was gone in about six weeks. There are reasons that doctors don't tell us these little secrets.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Residential Dumbwaiter Installations on the Rise

The news is true.  Dumbwaiters have successfully invaded countless homes and residences.  If you think dumbwaiters are only for commercial uses such as hospitals, restaurants, lodging establishments, libraries, etc. then think again.  It has already made its way into millions of homes all over the world.  And why not, it is very functional, multipurpose, uncomplicated to operate and customizable. Its success may be attributed to the fact that it is very straightforward and yet offers numerous applications.  Below are detailed explanation and scenarios of its usefulness and how it becomes so close to the hearts of every member of the family:

The main benefit of residential dumbwaiters is the ease and convenience it provides in transporting goods.  Items are moved from one location to another faster and safer.  It significantly reduces the task load of a person who is collecting the stuffs to be transported.  For some instances, it totally eliminates the need for a person/s to make the movement.  It is so reliable that you may not have to get a house helper, maid or any other extra hand to finish chores.  That is an absolute saving!

Its functionality may be simple and basic yet can be used in countless applications.  For heavy and fragile equipment, dumbwaiters can move it without difficulty.  When it is laundry day, every family member can simply toss their washables and mom will be happier than ever before.  For dad who keeps his home office at the top floor, transporting equipment, supplies, books and other materials will never be back breaking again.  Other remarkable uses of dumbwaiters in transferring items includes: groceries and packages, household supplies, trash and garbage, firewood, food and beverages, portable equipment and so much more.

Simple to operate and maintain
Whether it is a manual or electronic type; dumbwaiter can be operated by almost any member of the family.  It does not require much time and effort to learn how to use it.  Operating it does not entail technical expertise and complexities. Simply, put the item on the dumbwaiter, pull the rope or push the button and that is all you need.  A dumbwaiter usually does not need several scheduled maintenance under normal residential operating situations.  Even for heavy residential use – over 20 trips a day, frequency of inspection may be done less often like every quarter. 

Various models to choose from
You can customize your dumbwaiter according to your preferences.  Lifting capacity varies depending on your requirements. You can choose from manual or electronic model type.  Also, some models have built-in doors.  Generally, manual dumbwaiters are cheaper and operate with a pulley system.  But if you can spend some cash then why not opt for the electronic model especially if a push of a button appeals to you more. You can also match its colors, designs and materials with the elegance and style of your home interior.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Support your child's curiosity and intelligence

Here are some ways you can encourage your child to work hard and be a curious and active learner: * Praise and celebrate your child's efforts and accomplishments. Focus on how much she wanted to do a good job and how hard she worked. Praise your child for trying hard and sticking with it. The effort is even more important than the final grade. Praise and celebrate every child in your family all year long--not just when report cards come out. Display your child's papers and artwork on the refrigerator. Tell your child how wonderful her work is. * Read often to your child and encourage your child to read. Your child is never too young for you to read aloud to him. Your child is never too old to listen to you read aloud. The more your child reads, the better prepared he will be to handle harder and harder schoolwork as he moves up the grades. * Be interested in all the questions that your child asks. Try to answer or talk about those questions, even if you feel busy or tired. Whenever you can, take the time to help your child find the answers to questions--by looking in books, by asking an "expert," by figuring it out. * Take trips to the public library. Make friends with the librarians. Ask the librarian to help you find the best and most interesting books for your child. * Plan family outings to museums, zoos, parks, and historical places. Going somewhere interesting doesn't have to cost a lot of money. A trip to an interesting place gives adults and children of different ages lots to talk about, read about, and tell others about. Do projects around the home together. Carpentry, cooking, sewing, gardening, fixing things, painting, and arts and crafts all offer opportunities to learn. Your child gets to use her own ideas and learn new skills. "I made it!" and "I fixed it!" are exciting statements for a child to make. * Limit the amount of TV your child watches. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents limit their children's TV viewing to one to two hours of good shows a day. The AAP also recommends that families take advantage of interesting programs offered on video. Often you can borrow excellent videos from the public library for free. * Be curious and show an interest in learning yourself. If you don't know how to spell a word, let your child see you look it up in the dictionary. If you have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or piano, start taking lessons when your child begins music lessons. * Talk with your children about news events, politics, and topics your child may be studying at school. Encourage your child to voice his opinions. Children who participate in mealtime or family conversations with parents are more likely to be successful in talking with teachers and other adults. * Encourage your child to make handmade gifts and cards. Your child might write poems to thank your relatives for presents, or to wish them a happy birthday. Drawings are good gifts, too. Grandma will enjoy receiving a handmade gift from her grandchild. * Involve your child in family decisions. Let your child help plan meals for the week. Talk about the travel time and the cost of tickets for an upcoming visit to see relatives. Help your child use her ideas and math skills to help with household tasks. She can write lists and check off jobs when they are done. * Have high expectations for your child. Everyone can be successful in school. Give that message to your child again and again. Say, "I know that studying for that history test is hard work. I know you can do it!" Explain that when the work is hard, you have to try hard.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Three-Ring Circus: 5 Tips for Single Moms Who Work

If you're a single mom who works, you probably don't have a lot of time to read, so let's get right to the point. In addition to your salaried work, you're a chauffer, a nurse, a psychotherapist, and an educator. It's as though you're not only the ringleader of your family, but you're also the master juggler (of schedules), the tightrope walker (of finances), the lion tamer (of behavior), and the trapeze artist (as you swing from home to work and back again). Here are five tips to help you keep your sanity when the circus takes up permanent residence in your household.

1. Pick Your Battles

As a 49-year-old single mom of a sixth grader, I'm just plain tired. It's taken me years to get over my perfectionism and realize that I have to choose my battles, both in my work and on the home front. I no longer write long missives pointing out why I was right and my co-worker was wrong. In the long run, it doesn't really matter. The earth won't stop revolving on its axis because my son wants to grow his hair past his shoulders. I'm just thankful that he's not trying for to break the Guinness record for the longest Mohawk. I've learned the hard way that it's best not to sweat the small stuff...and most of it is small stuff.

2. Set Your Boundaries

Picking your battles doesn't mean you shouldn't set boundaries at work and at home. I tend to be a workaholic, so this one has been tough for me. But I've learned to say "no" when necessary, and to set firm but fair ground rules with my son. He knows what I expect, he has his routine, he understands his responsibilities, and he comes through almost all of the time. At first, it's hard to stand your ground and be the enforcer, but kids will start toeing the line and life will get much easier.

3. Use Promises Sparingly

When you're a single mom, life happens. Even the best laid plans can easily go awry, and promises made are often broken. Better than anyone else, you know that kids need stability and they need to know that they can count on you. I've learned to only make promises that I know with certainty that I can keep. When my son asks if we can go to a movie on Thursday night, I may tell him that I can't promise it will be Thursday, but that we'll go by the end of the weekend. If Sunday rolls around and we haven't gone, I grab my purse and we head out the door - even if there are a dozen other things I'd rather be doing.

4. Try for Balance

As a single mother, it's hard to achieve balance. Everyone and everything has needs - your kids, your kids' school, your boss, your clients, your home, your car, your pets, and so on. Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to hold a dozen ping-pong balls underwater, but inevitably one pops up. I've worked with my son to make what we call our "conscious living" list. We have a master list of fun things we want to do, projects around the house, and assorted tasks and chores. We sit down once a week and choose a couple of fun things (like playing cards or baking cookies) and a couple of projects (like cleaning behind the refrigerator or hacking at the weeds in the yard). I've found that setting an intention to do something helps me find the time to do it. At the end of the week, I'm often pleasantly surprised to discover that I've managed to spend time with my son, run errands, and get chores done around the house.

5. Let Go of the Guilt

As single moms, guilt is our greatest enemy. It can be paralyzing, can distract us from our work, and can put distance between us and our children. Our lives may not have turned out the way we intended, but we have to let ourselves off the hook. We're doing the best we can with the physical, emotional, and financial resources we have. As long as we love our children fiercely and without reservation, they'll make it and we'll make it. And, ultimately, we'll be glad the circus came to town.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Not only does your wedding day have enormous emotional significance, but it also represents months of planning and preparation - and a significant financial cost. Friends and loved ones will be there to witness your special day, and the chances are good that you'll be nervous, excited, and even a bit absentminded. After their weddings, many brides remember little but a flurry of activity and well-wishers, and count on their wedding photographer to capture all of the day's precious moments. That's why, whether you're hiring a Detroit photographer or a Los Angeles photographer, it's important to make the right choice. Here are tips to ensure that you choose a photographer who will make your wedding day extra special.

Experience is Key

Whether you're looking for a photographer in California or a Michigan wedding photographer, ensure that he or she has extensive experience. An experienced photographer will have a substantial portfolio that you can review. When looking at his or her portfolio, check to make sure that all of the standard compositions (such as the bride prior to the wedding, ceremony photos, and those with family members) are there, as well as more creative interpretations of the couples' special days. Look for unique lighting and settings, as well as pictures that seem to capture the brides' and grooms' personalities. After all, you don't want a cookie cutter Detroit photographer - you want one who understands you and your needs.

Chemistry is a Must

You and your photographer should have a similar vision for your special day. You have enough on your plate, and shouldn't have to spend time on your wedding day supervising your photographer. He or she should be open to the shots you have in mind, and you should be open to his or her interpretation of events as they unfold. Put simply, you have to trust your photographer. You can give him or her a list of photos you want taken; after all, the photographer doesn't know that Aunt Betsy is one of the most important people in your life. However, you also need to be able to trust his or her artistic vision, and follow his or her suggestions.

Price is Important, But...

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. When it comes to hiring a Detroit wedding photographer - or a photographer from any other city - you need to stay within your budget but still feel confident that you will get treasured photos from your wedding day. A good wedding photographer will have a variety of packages and prices from which to choose. This way, you can book a talented photographer at a price you can afford.

More than Pictures

A good wedding photographer becomes part of the infrastructure of your wedding day, and is an expert you can rely upon for advice. He or she can guide you through the maze of engagement photos, rehearsal dinner photos, and other Michigan event photography by offering advice on settings, hair and makeup, and even clothing that will help you to shine.

Ultimately, your goal is to find a wedding photographer that will make your memories last forever. When you hire a photographer who is experienced, whom you connect with, and who has the pricing you need, you'll have a professional at your side who can ensure that you can relax and enjoy your special day.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Watch Prison Break Online

Its not new news that people are flocking to the internet to watch the latest episodes of there favorite TV shows like prison break and saving thousands in the cost of DVDs.

There are literally thousands of internet sites online that provide video streaming so you can watch the episodes whenever you like at your computer.

Don’t be fooled by believing you have to use the pay monthly sites either because this is not true, many sites are offering the ability to watch prison break online and many other shows for completely free and a simple search in Google will help you locate them.

If you are like me and are often busy and find yourself missing episodes or getting into a show but realizing you have missed the earlier seasons then sites like these can be just what you’re looking for. Many TV shows like Prison Break often won’t repeat the previous series until the latest one has finished so when you watch the latest episodes you can find yourself confused at parts you don’t understand.

This is not a problem now as you can flick on your computer and catch up with everything you have missed and be ready for the new series to be aired.

A perfect example of this is the hit TV show Prison Break, I missed the first series as I was away travelling and returned to find everyone talking about it. After deciding not to purchase the DVD I started looking around the internet to find the episodes online. I found it very easy and have since used many different sites for viewing.

Since then i have tried out many TV show sites but I recommend you try this service too as it’s my personal favorite, the sites are kept up to date and are easily navigated.

I hope you enjoy them and save money like I have.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Make your Garden Enchanting Outdoor Decor

Out door furniture  mainly comprises of Garden Furniture and Picnic Furniture. We can look for a  variety of Out Door Furniture viz., Teak Patio Furniture, Folding Café Table,  Garden Arm Chair, Flip Table, Slide Chair, Sailor Folding Arm Chair, Teak  Lounger, Steamer, Serving Tray, Trolley Bar Cart, Round Coffee Table, Dining  Bench, Garden Bridge etc.  A garden is not only made beautiful solely because of the flowers and plants  but also by the garden décor. Needless to say, apart from beautiful rose  flowers your garden needs some garden décor! Picture a fountain, sundial, or  other piece of garden décor mingling amongst your flowers. Garden furniture  sets are both comfortable and stylish. A rustic garden furniture set, a modern  set, or any other style make a garden live. When we talk of outdoor furniture,  perhaps we can choose Teak Furniture which is ultimate for durability and  style. Teak Furniture are legendary weather resistance and it also brings peace  of mind. Now you can imagine, how it will be, to relax on one of the swings and  gliders watching the sun shine below the horizon, sipping a cup of tea,  chatting with friends, reading a book. Definitely it is a joy to sit and relax  on porch swings and gliders.

Teak wood is precious and often referred as Timeless Teak.  Irrespective of the centuries, teak is a traditional wood. Whenever we talk of  quality of teak we remember Burma  as teak was discovered by Royal Botanical Society Naturalists in Burma.  Teak wood out door furniture is preferred because it is astonishingly stronger  than English Oak. It is amazingly durable, virtually impervious to the  elements, insects and rot. Coupled with a fine grade Burmese Teak the enduring  craftsmanship makes a complete Garden Décor. Garden Bridgesand Garden Arches  add a focal point to your yard. A garden may also be decorated with quality  picnic tables, lawn furniture like Top Bench Tables, Adirondack  rocker chairs etc. A wooden park shelter, Banquet Setting, Avenue Tree Bench  adds beauty to a public park or corporate lounge thus making a public park live  and a corporate lounge a lovely place to relax during rest time or after work  schedule.

Quality Hand Crafted Hideouts, Chalets in a park attracts  the children to visit the park frequently. Quality garden   benches with cutting edge features and timeless design, are the hallmark   of a Garden Décor. A well designed Garden Furniture have a hint of modern trends but retain the reminiscent character of our cultural background. Wood   climbing frames, Sandpits, Garden forts,rabbit hutches, dog kennels, bird   boxes, nesting boxes, poker tables, children snooker tables, wooden garden   lighting and a host of other garden decor make a garden more than a living   place.

Any timber setting should be treated and oiled to extend its  life if left outside. Natural themes and colors are dominating the look for  outdoor furniture. Sumptuous lounges, featuring water resistant materials, are  taking centre stage in outdoor living areas. Walkway light wooden housing built  for or lights used to line a walkway or greet the entrance to a driveway,  sidewalk, or door. Garden Arbors with Bench add sitting space which can literally  be &quot;grown into&quot; a garden. The sides of the bench provide trellis  space on which green vines or roses can grow. As with most outdoor projects,  the arbor is best made from redwood or cedar to withstand weather.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Naturally Light n Strong Cedar Furniture

Asian and North African People in the mountain region used cedar trees for several centuries which also known as the” Thunja plicate “in all activities of their life. They used cedar for making their homes, canoes, coffins, and even used it for cooking. The most sacred function of the cedar tree was when it was carved into a pole and placed at tribal ceremonies. The cedar tree was named “Tree of Life” and it was monumental in their history. Cedar is considered to be the most valuable wood, because it is naturally highly resistant to rot, insect damage, and weathering. It will last for decades as cedar furniture. Cedar Wood is a smooth surfaced wood and aromatic. It weathers to a silvery gray when left untreated. Cedar Furniture can be used both as Home Décor and Outdoor Décor. Cedar Furniture has several classic designs and handcrafted. This furniture has its origin in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York.

Cedar Furniture comes out in different types and styles. They include Classic Folding,Adirondack Chairs,Adirondack Rocker, Lake Placid Cedar Chair, Keene Valley Rocker etc. The White Cedar when superbly crafted, does a great job with indoor furniture too. Cedar furniture is all season furniture. It is cool and comfortable outdoor furniture in the summer and cozy with rustic natural indoor furniture in the winter. Cedar is handcrafted in the Adirondack State this furniture comes from the area originally known for this design. It is made of sustainable cut white cedar that grows in the Adirondacks. This has excellent weather resistance and can be used for seasons to come. Lawns and Gardens look elegant with Cedar Garden Benches. Cedar Swings can dress up any lawn, porch or deck!

Cedar furniture will enhance any garden space and add to the natural beauty. Any garden with cedar furniture pieces like, arbors, chairs, benches, looks remarkable. Any one can add to beauty with cedar products like Potting Benches, Tree Benches, Planter Boxes, Chairs, and Garden Arbors & Accents. Pet Products like dog boxes and pet feeders are also available in Cedar Timber. Aromatic cedar hangers freshen clothing while discouraging moths and mildew. Red Cedar Wood Fence can be used for several purposes. . Cedar wood fencing will provide shelter, create visual points of interest in the streetscapes, prevent unwanted views. It is also works as boundary marker and acts as a climate controlling shield. Different sizes and types of Cedar wood fence is designed from strong boards that obstruct intruders. Red Cedar is more used as a fence material.

Cedar fence material must be the choice considering its quality, style and durability. The Cedar wood contains natural oil which helps the wood material to resist decay and insect attack without the addition of any chemicals. Cedar fence is much more stable than other woods to minimize shrinkage. Working with Cedar is a child’s play and doesn’t involve any complexity. The cedar wood’s texture and stability is unmatched and unparalleled. This can be easily stained to get various colored outputs. When constructed and maintained with care, a cedar wood fence will look excellent for ages, adding prestige and value to home and garden.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Terrific Teak-The Ultimate Choice

Variety of furniture material is available in the market viz., wooden, metal and plastic materials.  When you decide to go for wooden furniture Teak Wood becomes the ultimate choice as it is more beautiful and stands good for ages. Teak wood is grown mostly in tropical forest and it is a fine hard wood.  Teak wood is highly durable and hard and it can withstand any weather.   It has also the quality of standing against crack, rotting and warping.

However, proper care is needed to preserve the quality of teak like frequent natural warmish. Fine quality teak furniture beautifully handcrafted is rich enough to create envy among friends and neighbors. Variety of teak furniture is available in the market viz., teak tables, armchairs, loungers, folding chairs, steamers etc. 

Teak wood is rather called Terrific Teak as it is Hardwood and gives good return on investment.  Teak wood furniture stands for decades and of course, expensive.  Teak wood is best suited for Indoor, Outdoor or leisure furniture. Teak contains natural oils in it and is easily workable wood.  Teak is mostly used in India for house-old furniture as well as for making windows, doors etc.  Teak furniture made out of well grown and old teak is harder and durable.  Teak wood has natural resistance against termite attacks. 

Teak is a dense and close grained hardwood.   The natural oil in teak wood prevents it against moisture and serves as insect repellent.    Teak wood has become the ultimate material for furniture as it is un-comparable with any other wood with regard to elegance, stability and maintenance free.  Teak has the inherent beauty and unique in every piece. Teak wood furniture has also the repurchase value and can be sold for a good price every after a decade.

Teak can serve even the worst weather conditions and can be left outside in your garden without any fear of it getting damaged. People prefer to leave the teak bare as the natural oil in the timber protects its surface and keeps the wood solid and resistant to water.  However, applying Teak Sealer protect the wood from getting grey when exposed to sunlight. Treatment of teak wood is recommended only if any choice of color is required.  Most people prefer only the natural color of teak and it requires no treatment. 
Quality Teak grows up to 150 feet height and it is very good for any kind of furniture. The inherent anti bacterial and anti fungal properties in teak wood prevents it from disease or parasites.  Teak wood furniture can also withstand high pressure without crack.  The cave temples and war ships of early days used only teak wood and the palaces adorned with teak furniture alone stand as a proof for the durability of teak wood and a testimony for ages of its use. Teak wood furniture is always the preferred choice of majority population as cedar and oak furniture are available only some regions of the world.  Teak furniture is available around the world.   Indoor furniture like Tables, chairs, dining set or outdoor furniture like garden furniture arbor, bridges sit-outs, loungers or steamers teak wood is preferred due to the above quality.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The New Classiest Trend in Dog Housing

True dog lovers always like to provide their canine familiars with the best treats available in the market. For the most dedicated luxury dog houses are one of the best and classiest ways for the owners to show their love for their pet. Luxury Dog houses are easily becoming a tendency among the classiest dog-friends.

As they become ever more popular among the buyers, so does the offer of this product grows and luxury dog houses come as varied as the client’s taste and wallet; If you are out to get one for your beloved dog all you need is a little market research and you will find plenty of places already selling and/or making you a fully customized dog house.
If you don’t know where to start looking, the internet might be just the perfect place to start looking for luxury dog houses, as there are already many websites dealing with this kind of specific product and the offer keeps getting more advanced and attractive.

 Some companies who offer custom dog house building even offer you the possibility to specifically choose all the type of materials involved in the building of the house. The available offer of custom features is immense and they range from actual wall paper,  window covering, interior and exterior special wall painting , specific dog furniture- including beds, sofas and even some design pieces that serve also as dog toys-  to lighting and air conditioning. The outside of the luxury dog houses have not been forgotten , and if you think your beloved dog deserves it, you can even manage to build him his own private dog house garden, with his own lawn , sand boxes and even a pool . The possibilities are truly virtually infinite.
As long as you keep it functional in the dog’s point of view, you can really build your hearts desire. It is important to keep the dog’s perspective in mind when dealing with custom luxury dog houses. Some features are beautiful and look really good on human’s houses but for the obvious reasons, just don’t work with dogs. Remember you are trying to spoil your dog and make him as happy as possible, not making his life harder.

 Popular among this new trend is to build the luxury dog houses in accordance to the dog owners´ own house, including matching the architecture and the design of both the interior and the exterior of the house, thus creating a visual harmony.
The prices of such houses vary as much as the price of houses for human habitation. It will all depend on the level of luxury you are willing to offer your dog; nevertheless it is not an inexpensive business to build luxury dog houses. If you really want to bring something special home to your dog, you need to be ready to loosen up your wallet. This houses can be come a very expensive gift but they are also a great and classy way to show some love to your furry friend.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Muttertag Geschenke Ideen

Jeder will dass es seiner Mutter oder Ehefrau am Muttertag besonders gut geht. Man versucht mit kleinen oder großen Sachen den Tag der Mutter besonders zu machen, damit sie auch wirklich wissen, dass man sie lieb hat!

"Danke" kann man auf die verschiedensten Wege sagen. Am Muttertag sollte es aber schon mehr als nur ein "Danke" sein. Deswegen ist die Geschenke Auswahl auch so schwer an Muttertag! Hier eine Liste von Geschenk Ideen, die den Müttern gefallen könnten!

Klassischer Blumenstrauß
Das vielleicht einfachste und klassischste Muttertagsgeschenk ist der Blumenstrauß. Blumenläden machen ihren höchsten Gewinn an und vor Muttertag, ja Muttertag steht sogar vor Valentinstag als der Tage der Blumen und Blumensträucher. Rote Rosen und Weise Lilien sind besonders beliebt!

Muttertag ist zwar ein nationaler Feiertag, doch arbeiten müssen die eisten Mütter trotzdem. Um trotzdem der Mutter eine nette Überraschung yu machen, kann man sie ja am Abend nach einem anstrengen Tag zum Restaurant ausführen. Am besten vorbestellen, denn auch das Restaurant ausgehen ist ein klassischer Muttertagsgeschenk!

Besonders arbeitstätige Mütter finden nur wenig Zeit für sich selber. Meistens düsen sie zwischen Arbeit, Kinder und Haushalt, dabei bleiben wenige Momente für ihr eigenes Wohl. Am besten ein Spa Gutschein verschenken, die Mutter wird es zu schätzen wissen.

"Diamants are the girls best friends!" Frauen und Müttern lieben Schmuck! Es muss ja nicht immer Diamanten oder Gold sein. Besonders vom Ehemann lässt sich die Mutter gern verwöhnen, wenn es um Schmuck geht!

Shopping Tour
Wie würde die Mutter reagieren, wenn man sie fragt "willst du shoppen gehen?". Die meisten Mütter werden entsetzt gucken, denn meisten wenn die Mutter Einkäufe macht, muss sie Besorgungen für den Haushalt, den Kinder oder dem Ehemann machen, nicht etwa für sich selbst. Wenn aber die ganze Familie mit der Mutter shoppen geht und NUR für die Mutter einkaufen geht, das würde einer jeden Frau gefallen!

Mini Reise
Da es keinen offizielle Ferien am Muttertag gibt, denken sich die meisten Kinder und Ehemänner, man könne nichts am Muttertag unternehmen. Dies stimmt aber nicht. Man kann sicherlich am Wochenende davor oder danach im Namen des Muttertags eine Minireise machen. Mit Übernachtung und verwöhntes Essen. Es muss nicht immer weit von zu Hause sein, man kann auch mit dem Auto sich ein benachbartes Klein Ort oder Kurort anschauen, es gibt bestimmte romantische und erholende Plätzchen ganz nah von zu Hause!

Für alle Kinder und Familie, die knapp bei Geld sind, oder einfach mal was Neues machen wollen, sollten den Muttertag zum Bedienungstag machen!
Wie das geht? Mit kleinen und einfachen Gesten die Arbeit der Mutter abnehmen. Morgens wenn die Mutter aufwacht sollte sie ein gedeckter Frühstücktisch erblicken, mit frischen Brötchen und frisch gepressten Orangensaft. Das Haus sollte geputzt und ordentlich sein, das Abendessen gekocht und sicherlich sollte die Mutter nicht spülen. Die Mutter sollte am Bedienungstag bedient werden und einfach nichts anstrengende machen!

Article Body:
Muttertag soll etwas besonderes sein, ein Tag, wo es den Müttern gut geht und sie sich verwöhnen lassen. Nicht immer sollte die Müttern diesen besonderen Tag für sich haben, doch heuet hat sich der Muttertag in vielen westlichen Länder und Kulturen durchgesetzt!

Jeder will dass es seiner Mutter oder Ehefrau am Muttertag besonders gut geht. Man versucht mit kleinen oder großen Sachen den Tag der Mutter besonders zu machen, damit sie auch wirklich wissen, dass man sie lieb hat!

"Danke" kann man auf die verschiedensten Wege sagen. Am Muttertag sollte es aber schon mehr als nur ein "Danke" sein. Deswegen ist die Geschenke Auswahl auch so schwer an Muttertag! Hier eine Liste von Geschenk Ideen, die den Müttern gefallen könnten!

Klassischer Blumenstrauß
Das vielleicht einfachste und klassischste Muttertagsgeschenk ist der Blumenstrauß. Blumenläden machen ihren höchsten Gewinn an und vor Muttertag, ja Muttertag steht sogar vor Valentinstag als der Tage der Blumen und Blumensträucher. Rote Rosen und Weise Lilien sind besonders beliebt!

Muttertag ist zwar ein nationaler Feiertag, doch arbeiten müssen die eisten Mütter trotzdem. Um trotzdem der Mutter eine nette Überraschung yu machen, kann man sie ja am Abend nach einem anstrengen Tag zum Restaurant ausführen. Am besten vorbestellen, denn auch das Restaurant ausgehen ist ein klassischer Muttertagsgeschenk!

Besonders arbeitstätige Mütter finden nur wenig Zeit für sich selber. Meistens düsen sie zwischen Arbeit, Kinder und Haushalt, dabei bleiben wenige Momente für ihr eigenes Wohl. Am besten ein Spa Gutschein verschenken, die Mutter wird es zu schätzen wissen.

"Diamants are the girls best friends!" Frauen und Müttern lieben Schmuck! Es muss ja nicht immer Diamanten oder Gold sein. Besonders vom Ehemann lässt sich die Mutter gern verwöhnen, wenn es um Schmuck geht!

Shopping Tour
Wie würde die Mutter reagieren, wenn man sie fragt "willst du shoppen gehen?". Die meisten Mütter werden entsetzt gucken, denn meisten wenn die Mutter Einkäufe macht, muss sie Besorgungen für den Haushalt, den Kinder oder dem Ehemann machen, nicht etwa für sich selbst. Wenn aber die ganze Familie mit der Mutter shoppen geht und NUR für die Mutter einkaufen geht, das würde einer jeden Frau gefallen!

Mini Reise
Da es keinen offizielle Ferien am Muttertag gibt, denken sich die meisten Kinder und Ehemänner, man könne nichts am Muttertag unternehmen. Dies stimmt aber nicht. Man kann sicherlich am Wochenende davor oder danach im Namen des Muttertags eine Minireise machen. Mit Übernachtung und verwöhntes Essen. Es muss nicht immer weit von zu Hause sein, man kann auch mit dem Auto sich ein benachbartes Klein Ort oder Kurort anschauen, es gibt bestimmte romantische und erholende Plätzchen ganz nah von zu Hause!

Für alle Kinder und Familie, die knapp bei Geld sind, oder einfach mal was Neues machen wollen, sollten den Muttertag zum Bedienungstag machen!
Wie das geht? Mit kleinen und einfachen Gesten die Arbeit der Mutter abnehmen. Morgens wenn die Mutter aufwacht sollte sie ein gedeckter Frühstücktisch erblicken, mit frischen Brötchen und frisch gepressten Orangensaft. Das Haus sollte geputzt und ordentlich sein, das Abendessen gekocht und sicherlich sollte die Mutter nicht spülen. Die Mutter sollte am Bedienungstag bedient werden und einfach nichts anstrengende machen!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weathervanes: Whenever the Weather is Windy

Weather vanes may appear a simple decoration for the outside of your home but they can in fact a rather complicated piece of engineering. The very first recorded use of a weather vane as an instrument was in the 1500s and they have since become an English tradition decorating homes and boat harbours. Also called ‘wind vanes’, these instruments are attached to a roof or top of a building to calculate in which direction the wind is blowing and are particularly useful for sailors, farmers and hunters. Each device sits loosely on an axis and its weight is distributed evenly so that when the wind blows, it spins round and its arrow displays the direction the win blows. At the base of the vane the geographic north, south, east and west are displayed to make a reading easier. Placed high up (around 10 metres above ground level) and away from the obstruction of trees and buildings, a weather vane can give a very accurate reading.

For the average homeowner, the use of a weather vane might seem a little redundant. However, when the wind direction is read and compared with the type of clouds or the colour of the sky, a weather prediction can usually be made. For example, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, the sky in the morning is red, the clouds are low and the wind is blowing south then a storm may be on its way.

A weather vane used as both a practical device and a decoration can boast a figurine on its axis, typically a cockerel and they are most commonly made from metal such as wrought iron, brass or copper. The main reason for a weather vane being crafted from such materials is that they are constantly subjected to all kinds of weather extremities and cannot afford to rot or fall apart. Other figurines placed on a weather vane include ships, eagles, foxes and simple arrows. Professionally designed and crafted wind vanes can be very aesthetically pleasing, for example when the sun reflects off a brass figurine and it spins when a light breeze passes by.

With some weathervanes it is also possible to calculate the wind speed. To do this the vane must has an ‘anemometer’ which comprises of four cups turned on their sides, or a windmill which spins round continuously. Counting how many turns the cups/windmill make(s) over a set amount of time produces an average wind speed. This is of course is quite a dated and complex method of finding out wind speed, and instead many wind vanes are connected to a reading station to find this information out.

Placing a weather vane on a house can not only provide a beautiful focal point for a boring slate roof, but also a fun and hands on means to teach young children the geographical directions and what the wind can tell you about the weather. Overall they are a great investment to brighten up your house whilst providing a practical use.