Folding a Fitted Sheet Riddled Me

Do you find folding fitted sheet frustrating? For me, folding fitted sheet was like solving a riddle. It really was a difficult problem to deal with. However with some tips, I was able to uncover the mystery behind it. It only involves a simple technique of puckering. It is as easy as you pucker your lips when you avoid talking with your husband.

Start folding the bed sheet right away while it is still warm from the dryer. It is easier to fold a warm dry sheet before it starts to wrinkle. If dried on clothesline, iron the surface and fold. The problem is how to fold it. Here are some simple tips for you.

Place the sheet on a flat surface, a bed or a table will do. Never attempt to fold it without laying it on a flat surface. It will not only frustrate you but it will not work if you want to fold it perfectly.

As part of the process, remember that you must tuck the fitted corners into one another. Feed the bottom right corner into the top right corner and have them fit into one another. Repeat the process with the other two corners. The result is a folded sheet crosswise. Then smooth it as flat as possible.

The next step is to fold the two sets of combined corners into one another. Insert the set of corners into the other set. This is essentially a repetition of the first step. The only difference is that this time, it is a set to a set of two corners; the first is a corner to a corner. It is easier now after the initial fold since it is already folded in half.

The first fold was crosswise, the second was done horizontally. If you have done it as instructed, you will come up with a rectangular shape with the pockets of the fused four corners facing up with the overlapping fabric lying flat against the folded structure of the sheet.

After the second fold, the appearance must still be rectangular with four corners tucked into one another. Lay the sheet again on the flat surface for the final fold required of a fitted sheet.

Now, the final fold. The sheet should produce a square shape with the overlapping sections inside the square. You can make another fold as you desire to turn it into a smaller rectangle. The sheet is now as finished as the fold when you bought it. Who says it is a riddle to fold fitted sheets?

After you have mastered the art of folding bed sheets, probably you can now fully enjoy the convenience of using fitted sheets. Indeed it is cool to unmask hidden secrets of things around us.

Engagement Parties – How to Host Yours

Some couples prefer to throw an engagement party to celebrate their new status. It could also be the case that either the groom or the bride’s family will put on the event to honor the two. When deciding on how to invite people you can choose between getting them printed, handwriting them, or just phoning people, depending on the size you are planning. Your guests may know beforehand the reason why there is a party, but you do not want to state on the invitations that it is an engagement party. Therefore you won’t be expecting your guests to bring gifts. Announcing that it is an engagement party you obligate your guests to bring a gift and your motive for throwing the party will be put in question.

The host of the party will usually announce the engagement with a toast, and as a surprise to most. The kind of party you throw can range from a formal sit down dinner, to a barbecue or an elegant cocktail party. Sometimes a simple lunch or a tea for the bride will substitute for a formal engagement party. At these occasions it is enough to invite the mothers of the bride and groom, the bridal party, and the closest female friends and relatives.

The overall theme of the party should be about new beginnings, happy times, and best wishes. It’s not an event to worry over every little detail, like a wedding. You also don’t want to go through a lot of expense, because the rehearsal dinner and wedding will cost quite a bit. Nothing bad can happen here, unless the two decide to call off the engagement as the party is happening. Keep things fun, light-hearted, and upbeat.

If you are playing host to an engagement party, keep in mind that the nature and feel of it should be to have fun. There is no obligation to have an engagement party, so don’t make it too big of a chore. Consult with the engaged couple on who should be at the party, and what kind of party they’d like to have. Don’t stress out too much about it, just try to make sure that everyone has a jovial time.

Remember that as the host of the party it is your ultimate happiness that will dictate how the event goes. If the bride’s family wanted a formal sit down dinner and the groom’s family wanted a fancy cocktail party, and you’ve gone with an informal brunch with close friends and family it may seem that no one has won. But, if you feel most comfortable with your choice then you as the host will be having a good time, and this will trickle down to any naysayers and win them over in the end.

The Eco-Friendly Floor Trend

Consumers today are choosing environmentally friendly products to build, furnish and decorate their homes. Flooring and floor products are no exception. With a wide selection of products made from natural sources that are nonthreatening to our environment, that do not deplete our natural resources and that recycle old products into reusable ones, eco-flooring is a trend that is here to stay. Add on the fact that these eco-floors are durable, long lasting, beautiful and fairly in-expensive to purchase, these new floors are a win-win situation all the way around.

There are many types of eco-friendly floors on the marketplace today. For example, you can find hardwood floor alternatives that are eco-engineered, designed to look beautiful, last for years and use up to 30 percent less hardwood than conventional hardwood floors. You can also check out the reclaimed wood flooring that uses planks and other old floor products from buildings that are about to be demolished. This reclaimed lumber will create a new refurbished piece of wood suitable for flooring in any room in your house. The wood is refinished, sanded and cut into floor planks and then placed into position with nonpolluting glue. One final option for wooden flooring can come from left-over new wood that would otherwise be thrown away, abandoned or burned. By reusing scraps and pieces of left-over wood, meshing them together to form new floor boards, you will have a strong wooden floor that will last a lifetime. Whether it is eco-engineered wood, reclaimed lumber or the reuse of new wood scraps, the cost of this type of flooring is about one half that of conventional wooden floors.

Cork is considered to be one of the environmentally safest materials for flooring and other building products. Cork bark is carefully harvested by hand every nine years throughout the forests of Portugal and Spain. This careful harvesting does not harm the tree in any way. This bark is then treated, processed and cut into planks for use in our homes. Cork has so many other benefits as well. For example, cork is resistant to all liquids and keeps moisture out, is insect resistant, germ resistant and will not absorb dust or give off harmful chemicals. As far as providing and maintaining warmth, cork is a great insulator not to mention, it absorbs sound making it an excellent barrier for sound-proofing any room in your home. With regards to the cost, cork flooring works out to be one half the cost of other flooring materials making it the perfect choice not just for the environmentally conscious but also for budget conscious shopper as well.

Bamboo flooring has many great features much like cork. Because it grows in a tropical country, bamboo is moisture resistant, warp resistant, spills and stain-repellant making it a good choice for the well-used kitchen or bathroom areas. Bamboo is also resilient to high temperatures such as radiant heat systems, something that other floor systems cannot tolerate. As far as replacing the bamboo-resource, bamboo grows very quickly in its natural habitat and can be harvested every five years or so. Most importantly, the cost of bamboo flooring is about one half that of regular flooring and a bamboo floor will tolerate years of family traffic long before it ever shows signs of needing replacement.

Leather flooring is a very hot consumer trend these days. Leather left over from factories that manufacture leather goods (coats, belts, purses) is put to good use by recycling it into leather floor panels. The same engineering used to manufacture cork or bamboo floors is used to produce leather floors that resist moisture, are highly durable and beautiful as well. Recycled leather floors require no extra steps in cleaning or care than traditional floors do. With the wide range of colors (leather can be dyed) and designs, leather floors are suitable for almost any room in your home. The best part though is the cost – recycled leather floors cost about one half that of a traditional floor and if well cared for, they can last several decades.

Eco-friendly linoleum and carpets are also available to the consumer today. Eco-linoleum today is made from linseed oil, wood flour and from rosin (sap). One of the best things about eco-linoleum is that it is biodegradable and when it decomposes, it does not release dangerous toxins into the soil. If this linoleum is installed professionally, it can be installed with little or no toxic glue. Another great feature about eco-linoleum is that it is relatively easy to maintain – dust and dirt does not adhere or attract to it and the linseed oil component of this flooring resists bacteria growth. Eco-linoleum is an excellent choice in flooring where allergies exist. The cost of this floor is very inexpensive and if you purchase linoleum tiles, you might even save more money by installing them yourself.

Probably the worst option for flooring is traditional carpet. Two of the biggest concerns with regards to carpeted floors are that they are a breeding ground for allergens and toxins brought into the house by ordinary shoes. Chemicals used to clean a traditional carpet adds more toxins into your carpet and these toxins often remain there until the carpet is placed into a landfill. In a landfill, carpets take up to 20,000 years to decompose while depositing harmful chemicals back into the earth at the same time.

Eco-friendly carpet, on the other hand, is made from old recycled carpets, recycled plastic and from corn sugar. Although allergens, bacteria and dirt brought into the home is not totally avoidable, how the carpet is cared-for and cleaned is something you can control. Cleaning your eco-carpet with biodegradable cleaners will not only benefit the life of the carpet but also protects the environment. When it is time to discard the carpet and take it to a landfill, eco-friendly carpets decompose easily and will not harm the soil. The cost of an eco-friendly carpet is about one third that of a traditional carpet and by proper cleaning and care, the carpet will last for years.

You can check out and compare which floor is best for you and your family by going to the many retailers that offer flooring products. In addition, there are many specialty shops that have lots of information on all the floor products they sell helping you to make your final decision easier. The wise flooring choices you make today will not only benefit your family, your health and your pocket book but most of all, the environment we all live in.

What an A Frame Ladder Can Do For You

An A frame ladder allows the user to elevate at a minimum of four feet from the ground. This type of ladder is usually preferred because of its wider steps which provide more stability for the user. A frame ladders are also easy to store since it can just be folded together. So if you are looking for a simple, functional yet non-complicated ladder, A-frame ladder is a good choice.

An A-frame ladder is an economical option if you are looking for a ladder to be used at home. It can provide enough elevation needed to reach any household fixtures found in higher areas. It is usually leaned against a wall or any durable surfaces for support. Just like the letter A, this type of ladder has two sides that are equal in length. It is the crossbar of the A frame that keeps the ladder standing and preventing it to collapse.

Although using an A-frame ladder is not as complicated as operating a heavy-duty industrial ladder, necessary precaution and basic knowledge is needed. A-frames can help you reach the ceilings easily but improper positioning can lead to disaster.

Here are some safety tips to follow before mounting A-frame ladders:

  1. Before positioning the ladder, check if the surface is even. Do not place a ladder on top of another object.
  2. Make sure to adjust the foot pads in a way that the ladder will have an even contact with the ground.
  3. It is very important that you wear the proper footwear when climbing any ladder. The rungs can become too wet or oily during longer period of time.
  4. Before you start climbing make sure that there are no cracks or dentures. These minor details may lead to a tragic fall or accident.
  5. Make sure that the brace of the ladder is locked in place. Uneasy ladders can cause you to fall which could result to serious injuries or even death.
  6. Choose A-frames that can carry a workload of 300 lbs. maximum. The ladder will be able to support you and your equipment in a stable manner.
  7. Check if the ladder has all applicable OSHA ANSI A14.2 compliance standards. If it does not have any safety labels, your safety will be at risk.
  8. Check what material the ladder is made of; they can be made from aluminum, fiberglass or wood. Choose one that can best serves your purpose and needs. Wood may not be the best option if you are going to use the ladder more frequently.
  9. For easy storage and safe keeping, aluminum A-frame ladders are the best choice. Folding A-frames are available making it more portable and convenient to carry.
  10. Never stand on the top step of your A frames. This can cause the whole equipment to wobble and become unstable.
  11. Make sure that anything that you carry does not get stuck with the rungs.

If you are going to use a ladder to install Christmas lights, ceiling decors or any household fix, an A-frame ladder can work well with you. Your safety in using A frame ladders does not just rely on the product features but greatly depends on how you use it.

Building Curved Stairs

You can buy curved stairs kit from the producers after choosing the correct style and design that you like. On the other hand, you may order a regional artisan to make curved stairs with a style that fits with the structure of the house. Curved stairs kit comprise of a strong pole for the middle of the stairs, steps and brackets that must be fixed to the pole, and a round closure for fixing the stairs to the middle pole. The closure comprise of a support which actually increases the strength of the stair.

Start the procedure to construct curved stairs by slashing all the stair risers in a particular way that you desire. Ensure that their breadth is 5 inches and not more than that. You are required to utilize several pieces of wood for a single riser. Polish the slash spots wood utilizing sandpaper in order to make an even surface. Now fix all of them with the help of glue or any other sticking material.

Now you are supposed to set up the middle pole into the ground. Make certain that it is set up correctly to the floor or else it will not be stable at all. For security, the upper part of the middle pole can be set up with a plumb nod. The complete mass of the stairs comes on this pole and that is why it should be very strong to survive any kind of heavy pressure.

Initially the steps at the peak and the base of the pole require to be fused to the pole, and afterwards the left over steps need to be set up and fixed to the pole. Setting up handrails to the curved stairs is actually a complicated job. People who do not have proper knowledge might not be able to perform this task. So it is better to purchase the railing from the marketplace and follow the information given in the instruction manual to set up the railing properly.

If you intend to construct curved stairs in your home for an attic or room on the 2nd floor, the roof of the room must be high. If it is not high then you might get your head hit when going up from the stairs. The curved stairs are very famous nowadays. They are strong and beautiful, so do not waste time and select the perfect one for your house.

Using RSS As Part Of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

What's your strategy when it comes to inserting social media marketing into the mix of your overall internet marketing strategy? Do you plan on using Twitter? Facebook? Myspace? LinkedIn? Or Ning? No matter what your strategy is, you need a way to monetize these different services, and use your time wisely on these social networking sites.

But one form of social marketing that a lot of business owners do not use is something called "RSS marketing". This is a Web 2.0 strategy, and it's very simple to use. RSS stands for "really simple syndication", and it's a great way to get your content and articles on other peoples' website in a hurry.

One of the fastest ways to get an RSS feed is to start off with a blog. Now there is a very technical way to create your own RSS feed from scratch, but I'm willing to bet that you do not want to learn about this technique – especially if you're not a computer wizard. Luckily, there's a free service that can create your RSS feed for you.

This site is called Feedburner.com. And it's free to use, just like a popular blogging platform called Blogger.com. Both of these easy services can help you to get into a niche, make a name for yourself, distribute content all over the internet, and get tons of traffic in return for no cost whatsoever.

I like Blogger because they're easy to work with. But not only that, they can become quite possible. I know a guy who makes over $ 100,000 with his simple, plain looking blogger blog, but his information is incredible and he has a lot of subscribers. I'm willing to bet that RSS marketing played a hand in the role in having him make so much money also.

When getting your RSS feed from Feedburner, you have to make the decision if you want to use the default "Atom" RSS feed from Blogger, or use the one from Feedburner. I personally think you should use the one from Feedburner because it's simple, effective, attractive, and very easy to use.

Some people feel that RSS marketing will replace email marketing, but I do not agree with this notion. Email marketing has its place in the world, and so does RSS marketing. But to think that one will cancel the other one out is just ridiculous. Both of these techniques still work, and will work into the definite future.

If you want your subscribers to get fresh new content, start using RSS in collaboration with your blog everyday. It's the smart thing to do, and you do not have to spend a dime when it comes to setting this up and promoting your site or blog. I like RSS, and I think it's something that you should look more into.

The more you study about RSS marketing, the more likely it is that you will use it, and use it effectively for your business. Get started on it right now before you forget about it.

Be sure to put these RSS tips to use into your business today.

A Telescopic Loader Provides Directional Flexibility

The construction equipment and machinery industry is definitely a large and diverse one. This is because there are so many different facets to construction type work, which requires a great deal of different type of machinery to get the job, done. Loaders are one of the many types of machinery used on the construction site. Within this category, there are many different types of loaders, including the front end loader, wheel loader, articulated loader, mini loader, front axle steered loader, backhoe loader, skidsteer loader, and telescopic loader. Each loader has a different function and/or capacity.

The front-end loader has a mast that is fixed, which means that it can only extend up and down, but not horizontally. In contrast, the telescopic loader has a mast that extends out horizontally. This extra reach is extremely useful in many different situations. At the same time, this beneficial feature must be exercised with caution, as it can also be a disadvantage. The further out that the mast on the telescopic loader is extended, the less the loader can carry because it shifts the machine’s center of gravity, creating a danger of tipping. If real earthmoving type work were being conducted using a bucket, then the proper machine to use would be the articulated loader, or an articulated telescopic loader. This is because these pieces of machinery have much better visibility than their rigid bodied counterparts. Articulated loaders are designed with articulated joints set in the middle of the arm. This loader has two chassis, which are joined together, rather than to a machine with a rigid body. The articulated loader is becoming much more popular as the chosen machine to handle heavy duty work, especially when using a bucket, because it brings with it a great deal of strength.

There are many different sizes of loaders within the various types of loaders themselves. There is what is known as a mini loader, which is basically a loader intended for smaller jobs, usually with a weight under 2000 kilograms. These loaders often sit atop a skid steer loader or on a mini articulated loader. Because of this, they are very limited as far as their size and capacity. Within this category is the mini telescopic loader. Mini telescopic loaders are not very useful as far as height is concerned when the telescopic arm is retracted. As such, the arm needs to be extended in order to load a trailer or truck. As always, when using any type of telescopic loader, one must take into account the tipping load of the working height since the risk of tipping increases with the more that is placed into the bucket when the mast is extended out.

The telescopic loader is one among many pieces of essential construction site equipment. The ability of this loader to extend its mast out up and down as well as horizontally makes it a much more useful piece of equipment than the many others which are more limited in the direction in which they can mobilize. This flexibility is very helpful in many instances, but the operator of this machinery should be trained and skilled to ensure the load capacity is never exceeded.

What’s The Best Saw Blade For Laminate Flooring? You Might Be Surprised

The right saw blade for cutting laminate flooring like Pergo is not the one that came on your saw, or any other miter or table saw that’s sold. One common misconception is that an original equipment blade is good for just about anything. Another is that laminate flooring is wood: it’s not.

Let me relate a true story to illustrate the results of these mistaken ideas.

The flooring contractor working at the house I was renting was using a nice DeWalt bench-top table saw, with a standard DeWalt blade on it. It might have been the original, an exact replacement or maybe a step up in tooth count, but apparently he thought a DeWalt saw needs a DeWalt blade. A crazy idea, when there are so many other aftermarket brands that are a lot better.

Anyway, I watched in horror as he tried to cut a piece of laminate flooring, lengthwise. I could smell the smoke and hear the scream of the blade from a distance, and from closer I could see the sparks flying. And the saw was straining just to cut through that thin board.

Why? That blade was shot, duller than a butter knife. And I’d guess it was that way from about the third or fourth cut on laminate flooring he made with it. Keep in mind, this was a professional contractor, using a blade that was ready for the dumpster.

Different Materials Call For Different Blades

You see, laminate flooring will destroy a wood cutting blade with alternating top bevel (ATB) teeth in no time at all. The sharp points on this type of blade can’t handle anything that hard – they dull quickly and those tips are what the blade uses to cut cleanly through wood.

Another thing that happens is, when the glue that holds the flooring together gets hot from using a dull blade, it sticks to the sides of the carbide tips and gums them up. Obviously, that makes the cutting even harder for the saw.

There are many different types of saw blades, designed for cutting different materials. If you just make sure you’re using the right type before starting your project, you’ll get much better performance out of your saw and make the job go much better.

Now, what kind of blade should be used for cutting laminate flooring? I’ll give you a hint: most laminate flooring brands have aluminum oxide in their makeup. And the material itself is about as hard as metal.

Decorating With Ukrainian Folk Art Collectibles – Petrykivka Style

The art of Petrykivka or Petrikovka got its name from the inhabitants of the village of Petrykivka or Petrikovka located in the Dnepropetrovsk oblast of Ukraine where its women created this remarkable folk art when they painted floral and plant motives on the outside walls of their houses. This enduring art form dates back to the late 18th Century. It is considered to be the heart and soul of Ukrainian decorative folk art and is well known around the world as a collectible.

For a considerable period of time, Petrykivka paintings decorated only the outside walls of houses before they began to use it on paper, wood panels, and canvas. Mineral pigments were used for making paints. Instead of brushes they used short stocks of reed, twigs or even their fingers to apply the paint onto the primed thin layers of clay on the walls to create their decorative wall décor. Usage of three accent colors to highlight and distinguish their floral and plant patterns – red, yellow (or yellow-green), and dark blue became a visit card of Petrykivka folk artists.

The craftsmen of the village seeing the popularity and demand for this new type of art started to produce household tools, dinnerware, chests, boxes, plates, and other wall décor items for home decoration and collectibles.

The tradition of this art has been passed down from one generation to the next becoming more refined and sophisticated. In 1950 modern production studios and school were started to satisfy collectors demand.

The largest and most impressive collection of Petrykivka style ceramics, lacquer painted wooden chests, boxes, plates, porcelain vases, exquisite paper paintings and other Ukrainian folk decorative artworks from 1910 to 1990 are exhibited in a museum in the city of Dnepropetrovsk.

The Long Story About Sheep

My first experience with sheep was nonexistent. I knew that they had wool and went Baaa. I read a lot of books on sheep and the art of spinning wool. It was a dream that I wanted to fulfill. I looked around price wise and the starting price was $75.00 to $500.00. Well that is quite a bit of money if you wanted a small flock. I knew I wanted a flock that would reproduce so we could sell lambs and have extra meat. If everyone was getting $75.00 to start well I wanted in on the action. Here in Maine there is a weekly classified for livestock. I entered in an ad for free livestock wanted. I received a few calls for different kinds of animals such as chickens, goats and sheep.

The call for the sheep was an exciting one since the lady wanted me to take 10 sheep. She explained that the sheep were a hobby and when she had them sheared she sent the wool to Canada to have the wool made into blankets for her Christmas gifts. Now everyone has received a wool blanket she wanted to do something else. She was changing over from sheep to horses. I said “yes” before I checked with my husband. When he called I told him the good news. Now he knew I wanted sheep because I had sheep magazines all over the house and I conveniently left a few in the bathroom.

“Where are we going to put them??” he said.

We don’t have enough fencing or stalls. I am always the one to put a happy face on things, I suggested we clean out our storage area for the sheep, it would be perfect.

“Who is going to do all the moving??” he asked.

“The kids and I will”, I said.

At the time we had goats and he already didn’t like them so I had to choose either sheep or goats. Truth be told I was sick of the goats too, so off to the classifieds they went.

Mid week the woman called me and asked when are we picking up the sheep, I wasn’t sure since I still had the fencing problem to resolve. She said no problem you can have all the fencing and the stakes if you pick them up by this weekend. That all sounded great to me.

I guess this is where I should explain that my husband is an over the road truck driver and leaves on a Sunday and comes home on a Friday. So Friday night we are heading across Maine to the coast for a 2½ hour drive for 10 free Shetland sheep on a million dollar estate. Needless to say my husband was quite grumpy and tired. All we had was our mini van to transport the animals. We took all the seats out and headed over that way. It was almost 9pm by the time we got there and she wasn’t expecting me. When I called her to tell her we were on our way she said fine but she thought I was someone else and the sheep were not corralled in yet.

They finally got them in the barn and we started loading them in one of the sheep had a beautiful set of curly horns and the rest was a variety of colors. Only 8 fit in there snugly but we had no room for the fencing. We would have to come back the next day. The ram kept banging up against the windows and getting his horns caught in the seat belt straps. It was 11pm when we got back on the road. Having 8 animals moving around and sticking there faces in yours and doing Baa in your face was enough to keep us awake. Never mind I think all 8 of them must have peed about a gallon each on the way home. When we finally arrived home it was after 1 am and we backed the van up to the doors of the barn, backed the van in half way and closed the barn doors. We opened up the hatch and a lot of liquid was running out along with manure. The sheep came out and we corralled them into the stall. I fed them some grain that she had given us and pulled out the van from the barn. The carpet was pretty much ruined and it smelled pretty bad. We left the windows open all night to get rid of the stink.

The next day the kids and I pulled the carpeting out and attempted to clean it. It was right down to metal. Then we tried to clean the inside which went better than the carpet. It still smelled sheepish and wooly but we could live with it.

We really didn’t get to see too much of the estate the night before so we were taken aback when we pulled in the next afternoon. Right on a rocky cove a huge house and a brand new barn. She even had matching Persian cats in the barn to catch mice. We went back to pick up the fencing and she had some other pens for us to pick up too. It took a few hours and the inside was packed full. She still wanted us to take 2 more sheep but we declined on the ride home the night before I promised I would never do this again to my husband. He was going to keep me to my word. So now we had sheep and fencing. My husband was not going to set up the fencing too. The kids were off on summer vacation and I thought it would be a fun project to do. Ha Ha Ha no one thought it was fun but me. My daughter will help no matter what but my oldest son won’t. He does make a big production of it all when he doesn’t want to do something. First it is the eye rolling, stomping of the feet, taking his time and then disappearing all together. Finally my daughter and I decide he should stay up at the house and wait on customers. We put up the fencing ourselves. There were holes to be dug at least 3 feet down and every other wooden post was a metal post. The metal posts had to be pounded down to a certain point and all we had was a sledgehammer. I was standing on cement blocks to pound them in while my daughter held them. We had to nail the fencing onto the posts and hood the metal ones on the clips. Okay it wasn’t the greatest job but it good enough. We had used a few trees as posts and we did mange to get my son to at least dig the hole for the posts. It took us a full day and I couldn’t move my neck and my back hurt so much by the time we were done, never mind hot, sweaty and tired.

It’s funny though something my husband swore he wasn’t going to do he sure could find all the faults of the fencing and how it wasn’t right.

Well you know what I didn’t care unless he was willing to fix it then I didn’t want to hear about it. The area that we fenced off was all wild brambles that didn’t produce anymore and a bunch of bamboo. We wanted it cleared and we let the sheep out to feast on what was out there. I really enjoyed them more than the goats; they were pretty quite and wanted no part of human contact except the wether. His name was Brownie; he was a bottle baby from the estate.

In mid January my husband & I decided that we had a few too many animals. It had been an extremely cold year minus 20 without the wind chill. It had become an all day event thawing water in the barn.

Brownie was our male wethered sheep. He was friendly fat old sheep with his big brown saddlebags on each side. He was getting old about 13 years. He ate more grain then the other 7 sheep. When he was neutered his horns were removed and with his age the winter was hardest on him.

Since he was so friendly we decided to take him to the butcher first.

Well as I said it was cold and my husband had dressed in his Thermal suit, hat and gloves. It was my job to find a leash to secure him in the van. My husband thought he could take care of this himself. He bribed Brownie with grain and took two handfuls of wool. Since Brownie was a wethered sheep, he had no horns to grab. Brownie locked his legs and my husband was frustrated. He pulled and pulled with no use. So my husband picked up Brownie and proceeded to walk out the door. As they were half way out the door Brownie’s feet hooked on the lip in the doorway. Now Brownie had footing and he drove his head back and smacked my husband in the face. My husband doesn’t take pain well and he dropped Brownie to the floor and held him down. I came of the workshop to find them both on the floor. My husband’s nose was bleeding and Brownies eyes were watering. I asked my husband what he was doing on the floor. “Stop fooling around”, I said. I tied the leash around Brownie’s neck and led him the van with no problem.

The next time that we needed sheep to go to the butcher we hired someone for $30.00 to chase, capture and deliver to the butcher.

Sometimes being a good farmer is admitting to the things you don’t do well and finding a way to fix it. Now my husband doesn’t have to take a day off from work to chase my farm animals. Some people take it as being lazy because I didn’t do it myself. I look at it as my time spent better on another project instead of hurting myself or the animal trying to transport them.

I love my sheep but I can admit I don’t know everything and shearing is another topic that I have no clue about. After reading all the magazines and books they show a placid sheep just laying there being sheared. I decided to call someone that shears small flocks. Bill has his own sheep farm and does demonstrations at fairs. Bill comes to the area to do 2 other farms and we all split the traveling fee. I spent half the day watching him at work. He was hunched over, sweating and fighting with the animals. My sheep are small and flighty; his on the other hand are big and placid. I don’t want big animals that I don’t feel comfortable handling. So was it worth $7.00 per sheep plus having the hooves done for an extra $.50, Yes it was! If it were me that would have been a 3 day job and I would have ended up calling a vet because I probably would have cut them badly.

During the same winter that Brownie left we had a problem with the male ram “Rusty”. He was a beautiful white ram with the curling horns and a small patch of rusty colored wool in between his horns. It was cold in January minus 20 and with the wind chill it was minus 35. He decided he wanted all the grain and he was going to head butt all the girls. Well now everyone was bleeding from cuts on there heads. We had to separate him from the girls and spray them with an antiseptic blood stop spray. When the spring came and no lambs were produced we decided to sell Rusty. I usually give any animal here 2 months to sell, if not they usually end up in the freezer. I had plenty of calls and emails but basically everyone wanted him for free. That’s not how it works here; every animal here needs to pay for themselves. We put him in the freezer as a mild breakfast sausage. That is a big seller on my farm and Rusty did end up paying for himself.

I kept all the wool from the last 2 shearing and had them stored away for when I had the time to learn to spin. My neighbor came down the first shearing to teach me how to skirt and store the wool. Skirting is when you pick out the big blobs of manure, flesh, hay and sticks out of the wool before storing. Even then the wool reeks of urine and lanolin. I asked my neighbor how to clean it and she said in hot water with a mild soap. I did just that and after the 4th washing it still reeked of the awful smell of urine and wet dog. How am I going to sell this wool, when I can’t even clean it? I asked the Shearer since I had 8 bags sitting in storage. “Sell it dirty” hand spinners would rather get it that way.” I was a little leery because I knew I wouldn’t want to buy dirty wool but it all sold. I was getting $30.00/pelt. Well the sheep just paid for there grain for the year. I never would have thought of selling the raw wool like that. I wasn’t entirely sure about my skirting abilities either but all the feedback I received was that I underestimated my wool; it was the best that they ever received. That gave me enough of a boost to try it again next year.

How to Prevent Your Roof From Leaking

I have been on roofs more than once doing repairs on all sorts of roof leak issues from faulty workmanship alone.

So here are a few rules of thumb to follow.Please use some common sense to start.

Hire the Right Roofer! Never ever go with a low bidder. You will get into trouble most of the time if you do. I know that that low price seems logical in an economy like our economy is today, but that could blow up in your face in repairs or just having to start from scratch to re roof what you have already paid for once.

Price is not as good as over all value. You will do well over all if you to do the research to find out more than enough information about roofing installation and you will also find some plain terrible horror stories if you search deep enough on the internet.

A great resource is to search out the GAF / ELK website and look at some of the installation videos that were produced by CARE or (The Center For The Advancement of Roofing Excellence). There are many ways to show you how to avoid hassles and make the safest choice when replacing your roof on the website.

Now for those of you that have older roofs that have performed good, you have to ask yourself how old is my roof first. If the Answer is over 8 years then it is time to consider a good roof maintenance plan for your home or building.

If you have a shingle roof then you need to be looking for pipe flashing failures of the neoprene grommet. The Grommet usually will split and the basic rubber gasket will allow water to run down your pipe and drip into the insulation onto the sheetrock.

This will cause an unsightly stain and if you have a high ceiling you will have to repaint on a very difficult level. I know if you are like me then you want to avoid the extra work. So make sure that you spend the money on a roof maintenance service provider. It should average around $ 400.00 for any reputable licensed and fully insured company to come out to do the work.

Avoid door knockers who offer gutter cleaning services and roof repairs. These guys are usually fly by night and could create more bad than good on your roof. Think of it like this, what does my roof protect? My belongings, family and my Home. So if you follow some good ole common sense you'll be in a way better position later on. This is a great way to prevent your roof from leaking.

Ten Elements of Good Product Label Design

There are no hard and fast rules that you can follow in order to create a well designed product label. However, most of us recognize an appealing design when we see one. Post why? Because there are certain elements that will make a label design attractive and compelling. This article will guide you through the main design elements of a product label and provide tips on how to use these elements to your advantage.

1. Color

To grab the attention of someone who is casually walking the aisles of the supermarket you need to use color well. The color you choose for your label is dependent on a number of things. What color is your container? If you are using a clear container, then what color is the product? You need to make sure that the colors you choose for the label do not clash in a negative way to lessen the visual appeal of the entire package. Luckily there are tools to help you choose colors that will work well together. Adobe Kuler (kuler.adobe.com), ColourLovers (www.colourlovers.com) and ColorBlender (www.colorblender.com) are tools that you can use to help choose attractive color combinations for your labels.

2. Graphics

An eye catching graphic will also help draw attention to your product. With stock photography and illustrations so inexpensive these days you can find a graphic for your labels at places like iStockphoto.com or Photos.com for just a few dollars. You can then use these images on your product labels, just be sure to check the license agreement. In the case of iStockphoto you can use most images for up to 500,000 product labels without buying an extended license. A picture really can be worth 1,000 words on a product label as a compelling graphic draws the eye to your product.

3. Readability

Color and graphics will help catch the eye but unless your label is easily readable at a glance then you will lose people. They say you have only 2-3 seconds to attract the attention of a shopper browsing the aisles of a grocery store which is enough time to read just a handful of words. You should have your brand or company name as well as two or three words describing the product in large enough type that it can be read from six feet away.

4. Fonts

Speaking of type, your choice of fonts is a critical decision and deserves just as much attention as choosing color and graphics. Do not choose one of the standard Windows fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial, and also avoid overused fonts such as Papyrus or Monotype Corsiva. Do not be afraid to try something new and different – there are thousands of unique fonts available online – just go to fonts.com or 1001freefonts.com. The important point to remember is that you want good looking type that is easy to read.

5. Material

Before you even begin the design process you need to consider the label material. Your design needs to "fit" the material. Common material choices include white, clear, or a cream textured paper. Clear material allows for a "no label look" that can be very striking if you have a colored container or product. Take a look at Palmolive original dish soap – this is a product that uses a clear label very well. A simple design with white ink, it really shows off the striking green liquid inside. White material gives you the most flexibility with design, because you can make white into any color you like, or you can just use the white background. For an old world look, a textured cream paper can be very effective and is popular with wineries where you want to convey a handcrafted image.

6. Label Finish

Whether you choose a glossy or matte finish to your labels is a judgment call depending on the kind of image you want to convey. A matte laminate can provide a more classic look that is very easy to read, whereas gloss will add some impact to the colors on the label and provide a shiny, reflective look. A good example of the matte look is the Honest Tea brand of bottled teas. In the highly competitive beverage market they have a more subdued look with a simple label that works really well with the matte finish. If you can not decided between matte and glossy then do a small order of both and test it – see what people find most attractive.

7. Label Size

If you are using a round container then you most likely have a choice – do you want one large label or separate front and back labels? Front and back labels allow you to elegantly separate the front branding information from the ingredient and regulatory information but they can be more expensive than a large wrap around label. If you go with a wraparound label then it is important to keep a front "panel" with the vital branding information because that is what the consumers will see as they are browsing the aisles.

8. Shapes

You can really draw attention to your label by using an unusual shape. This will require the initial investment of a new die which can cost several hundred dollars depending on the size and complexity of your design. Heinz ketchup is one example of an unusual shape done well – the keystone label shape has become part of their brand after more than 130 years. Here is one trick that can save you the money of buying a special die. Use a clear label and simulate an unusual shape by using white ink to create your desired shape, so it will appear that your label has a unique shape even if it is a simple rectangle label.

9. A Theme for Different Flavors

With multiple flavors of the same product it is important to keep major design elements of your label consistent. Whether someone is looking at the peach, orange or lime flavor they should be able to recognize instantly that it is all the same company and brand. A company that does an excellent job of keeping a consistent yet different look between flavors is Nantucket Nectars. Each flavor has a simple illustration encompassing the flavor with a similar scene from Nantucket Island in the background.

10. Contact Information

In the 21st century every company should have contact information on their product labels. This is obviously not about making your label design more appealing, but rather having your label be more than just a passive selling and marketing tool. An 800 number, a web site and a physical address can all be easily included on the label. You could provide a special web site on your label for customers to sign up for an email list, so you can gather information and start to interact with your good customers.

When designing your label it is important to take into account what your competition is doing. If most companies in your space have very colorful and glossy labels, then maybe a more plain and subdued look will allow you to stand out on the supermarket shelf. Take many of the elements mentioned here and differentiate yourself from the competition. Providing a new and interesting look invites customers to pick up your product.

As we said in the beginning of this article there are no hard and fast rules for good label design, but if you stroll the grocery store aisles and look at the labels of products that have been successful you will see that they have many elements in common . Of course, most of these successful products have labels that were created by professional graphic designers, so if you can afford one I firmly believe that is money well spent. But if you do not have the budget or prefer to do it yourself then consider these ten elements when creating your product label.

Home Exterior Painting – Paint Quality

There are many things that you can do to help protect the exterior of your home and keep it looking its best.

One of the biggest factors determining how long your home exterior painting will withstand the test of time is the quality of paint you choose. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for with home exterior painting paint. It is better to pay more up front to purchase high quality paint rather than having to repaint your home sooner than it should have to be because you choose to opt for low quality paint. High quality paint will also help protect your home's exterior. With proper preparation methods and the application of high quality paint, you can help prevent common house painting problems such as chalking and peeling or cracking.

If you do not know the differences between paint brands and qualities, it can help to consult with your paint contractor. It is the business of a paint contractor to know the difference between paint qualities and how to apply them to your house painting to produce a lasting finish. For example, they will know that high quality home exterior painting paint should feel smooth when rubbed between your fingers while cheaper paint will feel gritty. Your paint contractor will be able to work with you and settle on a house painting paint quality and price range that will fit within an area you can afford and be satisfied with.

Having your home exterior painting completed can be a large undertaking, one that you want done correctly so it will last as long as it should. To help ensure that you are getting the most for your money, do not settle for a low quality paint. Choose a high quality paint for your home exterior painting and help protect your home.

Dent Removal – When to DIY and When to Call a Professional

So you ran into the store to grab a carton of milk and once you returned-ouch! You've got a big, unsightly bump on your car door. Or perhaps you were driving through a storm and your car got struck by a large hail stone, leaving a dimple in the hood.

A stray baseball, fallen branch, or kicked up road gravel are all potential dents in your car. You could leave the indentation, but the paint can end up chipping off more, turning into a large splotch of discoloration.

Most people can not afford to bring their car in for dent removal every time you get a ding or two. Although you're taking a risk, you can attempt this on your own. It should only be done if the indentation has no missing paint and does not look crimped or as if it will crack.

On doors, dent removal is possible if they are fairly small and you have the right tools. Some stores sell special "popping" devices that use suction to suck the car body back into place. If you can not find one of these, a plunger works on the same principles. You simply place it on the door, make sure it forms a firm, airtight seal, and pull out, similar to how you would use it on a clogged toilet.

The knock should pop back into place, but it may take a few tries. If it does not work, it would be very difficult to cause damage with this method to your car.

If the indentation is on the hood or the top of the trunk, you can use a small rubber mallet and wood block to help knock it back into place and smooth it out. Get a small wood block, wrap it in a soft cloth to protect your car, pop the trunk or hood and hammer from the convex point, or the inside.

For the best dent removal, tap slowly and gently, ensuring that you are evenly knocking it out. If you notice any paint chipping stop before you create more damage. This method is a bit more risky as you can end up making more dents if you are not cautious.

So what do you do if home dent removal is not an option? If there is any paint chipping, cracking, folding, or the knock is very large, it is time to call the professionals.

If possible, they will try to pop it without damaging the paint. If the paint is already damaged, they will have to repaint the area and match it to the factory color. While this is possible, it is not ideal as it can lower the car value. If the damage is particularly severe, you may need some body work done which can be quite expensive. It's best to shop around at various auto shops that offer dent removal services to get a few opinions and prices, which can vary greatly.

LEGO History – Building Imagination One Brick at a Time

The modern Lego has been around for over 50 years. But in fact, the history of Legos toys dates back many more years. The Lego Group was founded in Denmark in 1934 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter who had become quite adept at making wooden toys. For over a decade, the company successfully sold a wide range of pull-along wooden toys ranging from animals to cars and trucks.

In 1947, the company made what was considered a massive investment at the time in a plastic injection molding machine. This investment gave birth to a new line of plastic toys which paid off handsomely for the company. Then in 1949, the Lego Group produced the first of what would become a legend in its own right: "Automatic Binding Bricks". Although slightly different from the Lego bricks we have today, this development paved the way for what has become the modern Lego. Similar in size, form and function, the Automatic Binding Brick continued to be improved upon by the company. In 1954, the company officially registered the "LEGO" name as a trademark.

As the development of the Lego brick continued, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Ole's son, who was now an active executive at the company, came up with the idea of ​​creating a "play system" based around their Lego brick. He credits the spark of this idea to a conversation he had with an overseas toy buyer who commented that there was no real system in the toy industry. This system gave birth to the very first Legos sets. The modern lego brick and design was patented in early 1958, and took another 5 years to perfect the materials for it. Amazingly, bricks from 1958 are still compatible with today's modern brick!

During the 1960's, LEGO became a household name and an international sensation. By the end of that decade, the Lego group had sold legos in more that 42 countries around the world and had opened a theme park in Denmark that attracted more than half a million visitors in its first year. In the 1970's Lego branched out to create toys for boys, girls, pre-schoolers and advanced builders. This decade brought about two important developments for Lego: The classic Legos sets themes and the world-famous Legos figures, also known as, Minifigs or Minifigures. The company continued its meteoric rise during the 80's and 90's with expansion into education, video games, mail order catalogs, the launch of the official Lego website and the company's own branded retail stores around the world.

It was also in the 90's that the company took one of its most notable risks that has paid off massive dividends. In 1999, Lego began using licensed themes to market their products. Star Wars, their first licensed debut was a record-breaking success for the company. Since then, Lego has strategically partnered with several cartoon and movie icons to create theme sets that include Batman Legos, Harry Potter Legos, Spongebob Legos, Indiana Jones Legos, Spiderman Legos, Toy Story Legos, and many more.

Today the LEGO company continues to grow. In addition to ongoing licensing deals, the company is focusing on developing their own characters and sets. They are also focusing on new media opportunities, through the development of online games, video games and the highly successful DesignByMe 3.0, which is an online platform that gives Lego fans the opportunity to customize and build their own Lego set and packaging. The only limitation is a users imagination! As the company looks to the future, two things will remain certain, the Lego brick will be at the center of their development strategy and Legos toys will continue to inspire the imaginations of young and old builders alike.