6 Great Ways to Celebrate the Family Day

May 17, 2019

Home and Property

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If you want to make your family day a great day this year, make sure you plan some activities that can help you achieve this goal. Given below are 6 ideas that can help you get the most out of this day.

Enjoy a breakfast

In the morning, if you have some spare time, you can cut a toast or some fruits, such as watermelon or apple into pieces for breakfast. For this purpose, you can make use of a cookie cutter. Alternatively, you can bake some muffins as well. It’s a good idea to make muffins in the shape of a heart.

If you have some extra time, you can also make a delicious spread based on your kids’ taste.

Get out

Playing in the snow is a great way of having fun with your kids. In fact, your kids would love to get out and spend time playing with snow. You can enjoy the natural landscape by making a small snowman or snow fort. Of course, your kids can help you with this. If it’s summer, you can play hopscotch, go for a hike or engage in other indoor activities.

Here the idea is to change your routine for a day and spend some time with your family somewhere outside.

Make a collaborative craft

If you make a masterpiece that can be displayed in your house, it will work as a great reminder. What you need to do is print out family photos and put them in an album.

If you have a creative mind, you can do a family project, such as a windowsill garden or a scrapbook. If you are short of ideas, you can sit with your family and come up with some ideas that you can work on. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your friends a few days ahead of the family day to get some great ideas.

Read a book with your kids

You can choose your favorite book and read it sitting on your couch. It’s better to enjoy a book with pictures. Actually, reading a book with pictures will be an interactive experience. This way you can also teach your kids as to how exciting it can be to read a book.

If your children are learning to read, you can opt for a book that is easy to read. In other words, the book should have easy vocabulary and short stories.

Write letters

You can sit with your children and draw or write postcards to other family members, such as Grandpa, Grandma, uncles and aunts. This is a great way of expressing your love for those family members. You can also use stamps and stickers on the postcards.

Start a fresh tradition

Family Day is a new day on the list of holidays. Therefore, you can get creative and make a new tradition. You can watch a family photo album or videos over dinner to relieve family memories, for instance.


10 Ways to Save on Renters Insurance

May 17, 2019

Home and Property

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When renting a new place there are so many things to think about and arrange, so often times renters insurance does not make the list. In fact, only 41% of renters obtain renters insurance.

Sometimes it is the amount of things already on the agenda that distract from the importance of renters insurance, but sometimes it is due to the lack of understanding. So, what exactly is renters insurance? Renters insurance is insurance to cover stolen or damaged belongings, since you are not covered under your landlord’s building insurance for these things. It also covers temporary living expenses and liability/medical bills.

Choosing a policy can also be confusing, so experts suggest that you take inventory of your valuable personal belongings and estimate their worth. It is also recommended that you round to the nearest 10,000, if possible to have a little cushion of coverage.

This may sound overwhelming, especially the price which is another reason why some renters may stray away from purchasing renters insurance. Here are some tips to ensure that you are getting the most affordable renters insurance.

Install a Fire Extinguisher, Smoke Detectors, Etc.

Adding these to your place reduces the likelihood of fire damage or at least extensive fire damage, so insurance companies are more likely to lower your premium when you have these features.

Invest in a Security System

Making additions to your residence that prevent break-ins lowers your premium. It also maintains your peace of mind as if a break-in occurs it violates your sense of safety.

Use One Insurance Provider

Often times when you stick to one insurer for all your insurance needs, they offer lower premiums.

Use Paperless Billing

Most insurance companies offer some sort of savings if you set up automatic payments or electronic billing.

Stay Claim Free

You may think this defeats the purpose of insurance since you are paying to be protected in the event of a mishap, but most companies offer a significant reduction in premiums for those who have not filed a claim in years.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is a fire, health, and budget hazard. Quitting smoking, although it may not be easy can save on renters insurance premiums, life insurance premiums, and your overall budget since cigarettes are extremely expensive.

Retire

A lot of the crowd that is renting right now is the elderly, especially those who desire moving closer to family. If you are due to retire, doing so may help you save. The way insurance companies see this is that you will be home more often to intervene with potential disasters, thus lowering your premium.

Switch Companies

Shop around for insurance to get the best rate, most say that seeking out at least three quotes and selecting the best price for your needs is beneficial. However, some companies offer discounts for sticking with them each year.

Pay for the Year in Advance

By selecting this payment option you can avoid the monthly bill processing fees of companies. If you need to cancel a policy do not fret about refunds, in most cases they refund the amount for the months left of the current year. But, be sure to check this ahead of time.

Increase Deductible

By increasing your deductible, it usually decreases your premium. But, be careful because you have to be prepared to pay this cost.

Renters insurance can be intimidating, but necessary when renting a home or apartment. Keep these tips in mind when selecting insurance to ensure the best price possible.


What Is The Best Way To Choose Firewood For Your Home?

May 17, 2019

Home and Property

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As the cool breeze starts to develop a chilly nip it’s an indication that the weather is approaching cold season. A crackling fireplace with burning wood logs or a stove will soon be a welcome sight for every home. Isn’t it time to start collecting and stocking up on firewood? Prepare now, to stay warmly safe for the rest of the chilly days and nights!

Check out the authenticity of the local firewood suppliers before you confirm your firewood delivery. You order bulk firewood for sale only after you have checked its genuineness and dryness level at the local firewood suppliers’ office. How to choose and order the ideal firewood delivery for your home?

1) Small and cozy fires burn best if they are prepared out of cottonwood, poplar, birch or red maple. These softwoods burn the fastest and are available in plenty but they run out the quickest. You may have to spend your evening rushing into the firewood shed time and again to replenish the stock. You may save some money but in the long run the effort and wood you end up spending may not be worth it. Isn’t it better to opt out for the sturdy or seasoned firewood like:
a) Box firewood
b) Red gum firewood
c) Mixed eco-friendly firewood or
d) Ironbark firewood?

2) If you want your fires to stay burning hours and hours into the night burnishing the walls with the warm red colour of live red hot coals, then pick your firewood from hardwoods like locust, oak, box, red gum, black maple, iron bark or hickory.

3) Seasoned firewood is dryed wood that catches fire quickly. You need to be very sure that the firewood you are using to build your fire is dry and free from moisture. The surface water on the firewood will soon dissipate or can be removed by wiping but the water that has seeped into the firewood will be released as arid smoke and smouldering sediments.

4) Use well-seasoned firewood for your fireplace. Improperly seasoned firewood burns inefficiently and there will be very less. Mixed eco-friendly firewood burns well and but does not pollute the atmosphere. It is a wonderful choice for your home fireplace. Do your bit for the environment and get your crackle from a wholesaler dispensing bulk firewood for sale!

5) Check out for wood with cracks at the ends. This wood is less heavy and is of a deep brown, grey or yellow colour. Light brown, greenish or cream colored wood should be avoided because it may be wet.

6) Leave the logs that make a deep thudding sound when struck together. Hitting the logs together should resonate with a hollow whack.

7) You can also season your wood when the weather is hot and sunny. Just leave the logs and wood pieces outside where the hot and dry sun rays will air-dry the wood.

8) Split wood pieces burn quickly and catch fire faster. A bigger log can be split into quarters or halves and then used. Wood furnaces and outdoor fire pits need big logs whereas fireplaces provide great warmth with small sized wood.


Using Salt Around the House

May 17, 2019

Home and Property

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Salt was surely the first food seasoning. Prehistoric people got all the salt they needed from the meat that made up a large portion of their diet. When people began turning to agriculture as a more reliable food source, they discovered that salt-most likely from the sea-gave vegetables that salty taste they craved. As the millennia passed, salt gradually made life more comfortable and certain as people learned to use it to preserve food, cure hides and heal wounds. Salt is an indispensable ingredient when you are cooking. Food is inedible without salt. But salt has many more purposes. You will be surprised at the following tips using salt.

You can run out of elbow grease trying to scrub burnt-on stains off enamel pans. Skip the sweat. Soak the pan overnight in salt water. The stains should lift right off.

Make short work of the clean-up after you’ve rolled out dough or kneaded breads. Sprinkle your floury benchtop with salt. Now you can neatly wipe away everything with a sponge. No more sticky lumps.

Tea and coffee leave stains on cups and in pots. You can easily scrub away these unattractive rings by sprinkling salt unto a sponge and rubbing in little circles across the ring. If the stain persists, mix white vinegar with salt in equal proportions and rub with a sponge.

Water marks on tables will disappear by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste. Gently rub the paste unto the ring with a soft cloth or sponge and work it over the spot until it’s gone. Restore the lustre of your wood with furniture polish.

If ants are bearing a path to your home, intercept them by sprinkling salt across the door frame or directly on their paths. Ants will be discouraged from crossing this barrier.

Keep fleas from infesting your pet’s home by washing down the interior walls and floor every few weeks with a solution of salt water.

Do you need to prepare leafy salad in advance of a dinner party? Lightly salt the salad immediately after you prepare it and it will remain crisp for several hours. For fruit salad you’ll want to make sure your freshly cut fruit looks appetising when you serve the dish. To ensure that cut apples and pears retain their colour, soak them briefly in a bowl of lightly salted water.

Apples need a facelift? Soak them in mildly salted water to make the skin smooth again.

Cheese is much to expensive to throw away because it has become mouldy. Prevent the mould by wrapping the cheese in a serviette soaked in salt water before storing it in the refrigerator.

Not only can you test eggs for freshness by adding salt in a cup of water and gently placing the egg in the cup (fresh egg will sink) but if you ever dropped an uncooked egg, you know what a mess it is to clean up. Cover the spill with salt. It will draw the egg together and you can easily wipe it up with a sponge or paper towel.


A Key On the Table Is Worth Many A Chuckle

May 17, 2019

Home and Property

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When it comes to forgetting anything, I am king of the hill. My forgetting has nothing to do with age because I have been forgetting as long as I can remember.

Of course, with age comes an excuse for forgetting something. Don’t let anybody know this, but sometimes I use my age to say I forgot something which in reality I had not forgotten. Sometimes forgetting something is the best expression of valor.

I can’t remember all the things I have forgotten, however, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage remembers everything, even things I did not forget. Her memory is impeccable and I just have to live with it.

Often she will start a conversation with, “Do you remember… ?”

Being married as long as I have, I always go with the affirmative nod, which I never forget to do.

When I was a young husband, I remember very distinctly correcting her about what I remembered about an incident she was talking about. I have remembered never to make that mistake again.

I am forgetting everything these days. It may be my keys. I get to the church office, check my pocket and realize I forgot my keys. Then I have to get on my cell phone (when I don’t forget that) and call my wife explaining that I forgot my keys.

Once we went for supper with some friends, I was to pick up the tab, and when the tab came, I had forgotten to bring my wallet. I am definitely not going to do that again.

Once I went on a trip and forgot where I was going. Fortunately, I had the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage with me who is an expert in telling me where to go.

I can’t tell you how many lectures she has given to Yours Truly in this area of forgetting. I think she should win some kind of a prize or a doctorate in this area. Maybe I should begin calling her, Dr. Never Forget.

I could not remember all of the things that I have forgotten. I could ask my wife, but that would take a day and a half for her to get them all on the table.

Our relationship is defined this way; I forget everything and she remembers everything. It can be good, but also it can have a negative impact upon a person’s life, like mine.

I just thought I would have to live out the rest of my life under this cloud of forgetfulness.

Then the most incredible thing happened, something that has changed the rest of my life.

My wife left early to go to the office and I was about a half-hour getting ready to go and when I went to the door, I noticed on the table was a key ring with a bunch of keys on it. At first, I thought it must be my wife’s and maybe I should pick it up and take it with me.

I realized one very important thing though. My wife never forgets anything. If I pick up these keys and take it to her, I am in more trouble than I could really handle at this stage of life. After all, if her keys are on the dining room table there is a pretty good purpose behind the whole thing. For me to sabotage that purpose would get me in a great deal of trouble, I can assure you.

I went out the door, got in my vehicle and started on my way to the office. As I was backing out of the driveway, my cell phone rang. I noticed it was my wife. I thought I was in trouble. What could I have done now or what didn’t I do that I should have done?

When I answered the phone, I heard a meek voice say, “Did you see any keys on the dining room table?” I answered in the affirmative not really understanding the situation.

“Could you,” she said most sweetly, “bring them over? I forgot them.”

There was a dramatic pause on my side of the cell phone. It took a few moments for the situation to sink in.

As I went back into the house, I was chuckling all the way in and picked up the delinquent keys.

When I got to the office, I handed them to her with the biggest smile I’ve ever had on my face that I can remember. She looked at me and then said rather softly, “You’re not laughing are you?”

I recognize I will forget a great deal of things in life. But this incident, I will never forget and it will always strike a chuckle cord in my heart.

Every once in a while, when nothing is going on, I will look at my wife and say, “Do you remember the keys?”

Glancing away from me she will say, “Don’t you think it’s time to forget that?”

Spring Has Sprung a Leak This Year

May 15, 2019

Home and Property

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It was in the middle of February during a very shivering cold time that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said most dramatically, “I can’t wait for Spring. When in the world is Spring going to get here?”

As a veteran husband, I knew this was not a question for me to ponder or even to answer. Rather, it was something I needed to ignore completely. I learned these things down the years, which is why I have survived so many years. If silence is golden then I have reached those golden years of life.

I wouldn’t say this to her, but I was thinking the same thing myself. When is Spring ever going to get here?

I was counting the days when it would be Spring and we could enjoy some graciously warm weather for a change. This weather has been stinking chilly for a long time and I was getting tired of it. I could tell my wife was getting tired of it too, but I didn’t want to go in that direction with any kind of conversation. Sometimes the best thing to do is not do or say anything.

It was unusually cold here in Florida and I was tired of it. Personally, I was looking forward to Spring when things would automatically change and I could put away my sweater.

That magical day arrived. The day before my wife said, “Well, tomorrow is Spring and all this nasty, rainy, chilly weather will be over.”

If only my wife was in charge of the weather. That would be a wonderful thing because the weather would be perfect every day. At least according to her calculation.

I remember when I tried to explain to her that we needed change in the weather and we needed rain in order for crops to grow, trees to grow and so forth. After my explanation she put both hands on her hips and stared at me one of those stares that I’m so familiar with. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t have to.

My wife has relatives up in the state of New York. Not New York City, thankfully. One of the things she enjoys doing during the winter time is to text them and tell them how wonderfully warm and sunny it is down here. This year, however, she wasn’t able to do that.

When Spring did arrive, there was no magical change in the weather. In fact, it was the worst rainy weather we had all year. It was rainy and thundering and even in some places there were tornadoes. It didn’t look or feel like Spring.

I didn’t say anything all morning. I knew no matter what I would say it would get me in trouble. She wasn’t in the mood for any joking or jestering on my part.

She didn’t say much, but she sighed very deeply all morning long. Fortunately for me, I had work to do and so occupied myself with that work.

Isn’t it strange that man, being who he thinks he is has no control of the weather? It rains when it rains and it snows when it snows and there’s not a thing man can do about it.

The weatherman is a very strange individual. It doesn’t matter if he gets the whether right or wrong, he still has a job. Nobody thinks badly of him because he miscalculated the weather.

Then my wife made a very interesting comment, “Why can’t Mother Nature keep to the schedule at hand. Spring is supposed to be nice weather.”

It was a good point. We have a date for Spring and Mother Nature should keep that date. We have all year long for rain and tornadoes and lightning and thundering why can’t she organize her schedule a little better.

I might recommend that my wife take over the duties of Mother Nature. If anybody can organize anything, it’s her. Well, she hasn’t quite organized me, but that’s a different story. But she can organize everything right down to the second.

If there was an opening for a new Mother Nature, I think I would recommend my wife. I’m not sure she would have much competition there, and she would win hands down. Then we would have weather organized on a very strict schedule.

Under her supervision, we would have rain when it’s scheduled and snow when it’s scheduled. The sun would shine, without clouds, at least 90% of the time. I wanted to say 100%, but I’ll give her a little leeway in this.

Thinking about this I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of things in this world and also in my life that I cannot control. The frustration of life is when I try to control things that I can’t control. Even though I know I can’t control everything, at least I try. And I try to my own failure.


Wishing Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

May 15, 2019

Home and Property

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The last several months have been rather busy with hardly a break anywhere. Sometimes the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I get so busy we forget about the necessity of taking a break every now and then. Soon one day becomes just like the last day. And tomorrow? Will be just like today.

We did take a little break and went out for supper one evening at one of our favorite restaurants. This has become a rather rare occasion and so we tried to enjoy the moment as much as we could.

We were chit chatting and enjoying our company as the waitress brought our food to us. It was a delicious meal and I was beginning to enjoy myself, maybe just a little too much.

“You know,” I said rather cheerfully, “what I really wish for?”

Not knowing where I’m coming from my wife said, “I really have no idea what you’re wishing for right now. Just be careful what you wish for.”

Staring off into space a little bit I responded by saying, “I wish I could take a week off and do nothing.”

When she finished laughing she said, “Don’t wish for something that you can’t follow through on. You know that’s not possible.”

Together we laughed and enjoyed that far-reaching impossible idea.

A week later, almost to the day, I was scheduled to go to my doctor for blood work. I don’t know why doctors are so interested in blood, especially my blood. It was on a Monday and the day before I had pain in my right shoulder all the way down to my fingertips. I figured I would ask the doctor when I was in for my scheduled appointment. I assumed I had a pinched nerve somewhere.

I showed my arm to the doctor and there was a little rash beginning to develop near my elbow. The doctor looked at that, smiled wickedly and said, “You have shingles.”

I have heard of shingles, but I did not know anything about it. I did not know if I should call for some roofing contractor to work on my shingles or what.

After further examination, he confirmed his first guess and said, “You do have shingles and it’s good that you’re here today because we got it just in time.”

The doctor went out of the room, came back in the room, went out of the room and came back in the room all the time smiling. Up to this time, he had not been able to find anything wrong with me. His comment always has been, “A person your age should have something wrong with them.”

Well, now I have something wrong with me. Are you happy now, Dr. Dracula?

In first grade, I had chickenpox and so I have been carrying this shingles virus all these years. I did not know I had a “carrying license” for shingles. Why doesn’t the government get on that?

The visit with the doctor was just the beginning. From then on, these shingles went crazy. They were dancing up and down my right arm as though they owned it.

I really would not mind the dancing it was the pain that caught my attention.

Up to this point, I thought I knew what pain was all about. Boy was I wrong.

The shingles virus affects the nervous system and it was from the top of my shoulder to the tip of my fingers. I never experience pain like this before.

For the next week, my wish for nothing to do came true, proving my wife was really wrong. I spent most of the time in bed doing nothing but groaning in pain. I’m not sure this was what I had in mind in my wish.

For every bad thing that happens there is always something good that comes out of it. The good that came out of this was I lost 11 pounds during that week. I’m not recommending this as a form of diet, but I did lose that weight and I guess I’m thankful for that.

However, for every good thing that happens there is always some bad element to it. The good was I lost 11 pounds. The bad was, my trousers now won’t stay up. I must be careful as I walk around because I might lose those trousers. (A full moon tonight.)

I was feeling really sorry for myself. My right arm is only about 75% active right now. That is a real bummer to be sure. I managed to go to Wendy’s and as I was in the drive-through lane waiting for my turn to order I saw a man come out of the restaurant and he did not have a right arm.